NAC managed to cover several topics in their 45 minutes with the Minister. Liza Lack, National Clinical Lead for GPEP raised why the medical schools’ competitive processes select out the qualities needed in a GP, like compassion, teamwork and self-care. Sue Tutty of the Auckland Faculty raised the issue of persuading DHBs to fund Mirena. Katrina Kirikino of Te Akoranga a Māui raised equity concerns for Maori from the national bowel screening programme and HPV vaccine delays.
The Minister said that departments must report back to him specifically on their plans to improve equity, so if there are good suggestions, the College should put them through to the DHBs and Ministry, as they will be searching for answers and will welcome ideas.
NAC agreed to write to the Minister to reiterate the topics covered, and highlight any other critical topics that the members raised but did not have time to cover.
Later in the day NAC welcomed Dr Shane Reti, who is a College Fellow. Dr Reti said that the National Party is in listening mode for 9-12 months while it forms policy, and he invited views and questions. He said that he thought the funding agenda is being pushed out by the government, and that there will be no further changes this term. Dr Reti noted that while practice nurses will receive a pay equity adjustment, there will be no top up for GPs to meet that.
Jess Blackwood of Te Akoranga a Māui raised the issue of insufficient support for young mothers.
There was also a wide-ranging discussion on health IT, where Shane expressed doubts about New Zealand’s maturity to build the central leadership and infrastructure needed to develop a primary care data warehouse and a single electronic health record.