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Source: ProCare

Leading healthcare provider, ProCare, has today responded to the announcement in Budget 2023 that from 30 June 2024, no patients will wait longer than 12 months for treatment, from the date the decision to treat is made.

Dr Craig King, Chair of ProCare Network Board says: “While we acknowledge this is a step in the right direction, 12-month wait times are still at an unacceptable level. It is our belief that primary care could be better funded and equipped to help get a better result. Allowing primary care to take a solutions-focus approach would reduce the pressure off hospitals, providing earlier interventions, less invasive treatments and in some cases prevent the need for hospital-based surgery at all.

“Empowering general practice teams to access investigations and treatments that already exist in the community would allow them to assess their patients against the agreed and evidence based clinical pathways – something we have already proposed as part of our primary care feedback to the Minister’s Planned Care Taskforce,” continues Dr King.

“ProCare has recently piloted a GP MRI programme, training and enabling GPs to successfully and safely order MRIs for their patients. Through this pilot, we have seen a reduction by more than 50% in wait times,” he continues.

Bindi Nowell, Chief Executive of ProCare Group says: “ProCare is disappointed to see that patients are being left to sit on waitlists for up to 12-months. On top of this, it is only from 30 June 2024 – meaning patients could still be waiting up to 24-months from now before they are seen.

“On average, those on waitlists tend to see their general practitioner two to four times more than those of the same age who are not on the waitlist. For a workforce already over worked, under resourced, and dealing with staff shortages, these waitlists and their repercussions add further pressure,” concludes Norwell.

About ProCare

ProCare is a leading healthcare provider that aims to deliver the most progressive, pro-active and equitable health and wellbeing services in Aotearoa. We do this through our clinical support services, mental health and wellness services, virtual/tele health, mobile health, smoking cessation and by taking a population health and equity approach to our mahi. As New Zealand’s largest Primary Health Organisation, we represent a network of general practice teams and healthcare professionals who provide care to more than 830,000 people across Auckland and Northland. These practices serve the largest Pacific and South Asian populations enrolled in general practice and the largest Māori population in Tāmaki Makaurau. For more information go to