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Source: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists suggests Heather Simpson should go back to the drawing board and rewrite aspects of the Health and Disability System Review in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Review panel’s final recommendations were delivered to the government in March but have been side-lined due to the Covid emergency with no indication of a release date.

Some health sector groups are now calling for them to be released urgently for debate.

ASMS believes the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown up challenges for the health system that must now be considered, and a reset is needed.

Executive Director Sarah Dalton says the Review panel was charged with deciding what needs to change in the entire health system to better serve the people.

“The Covid crisis has brought a new perspective and tested certain aspects of the health system like never before, publicly exposing the weaknesses and lack of capacity caused by years of underinvestment”.

“Experts, citing the Global Health Security Index, have come out this week saying New Zealand was ill-prepared for a pandemic, and just yesterday the Prime Minister rightly agreed that we need to rebuild our health system and particularly the investment in public health”.

ASMS has earlier expressed disappointment and frustration that the Review did not look at the question of whether the health system is adequately funded, arguing it was out of its scope.

“If the government is going to use the Review’s report to underpin the shape and future of our health system, the recommendations should be as well-informed and responsive as possible”.

“The world has changed, and the Review needs to reflect that,” Sarah Dalton says.