Children Outside Main Centres To Benefit From Funds

  • Bill English

Health Minister Bill English said children outside the main centres stood to benefit from $800,000 funding announced today to implement the recommendations of a recent review of specialty care for children.

"Most of this money will go towards helping doctors and nurses develop treatment guidelines for cancer, asthma and other chronic illnesses affecting children. It will also help improve communication links between specialists so that children outside the main centres can benefit from treatment without having to travel to the main centres.

"The recent national review of paediatric specialty services looked at how to provide better care and better service for sick children. The report "Through the Eyes of a Child" was the result of 18 months of work by paediatricians and child health experts from around the country.

"Child health is a government priority and over the last year a significant number of initiatives have been implemented to ensure all New Zealand children receive the health care they need. These include strengthening families, free health care to under sixes, pilot family health teams, Family Start prototypes and the Child Health Strategy.

"The funds announced today are one of a number of new initiatives aimed at helping to implement the Child Health Strategy and part of a larger child health package which I will be announcing next week," said Mr English

The $800,000 will be allocated as follows:

$740,000 to set up a national network for the specialists who care for our sick children. They will develop national guidelines for treatment for asthma, child cancer and other chronic illnesses, and define best practice in paediatric anaesthetics, paediatric surgery, intensive care and child development
$60,000 to help early planning for developing a national child cancer service and tumour panel to provide all children needing care in these areas with the best care available