Easier access to health assistance for MSD clients

Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that from tomorrow, people on the Disability Allowance, Child Disability Allowance or the Supported Living Payment are able to have assessments completed by nurse practitioners.

 The change is part of the new Social Security Act 2018.

“The new legislation allows nurse practitioners to conduct medical assessments and complete medical certificates for all MSD benefit and assistance related assessments,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“This is about making services easier to access, particularly for disabled people or those with health conditions.”

Nurse Practitioners are authorised to practise at an advanced level, prescribe medicines and manage common and complex health conditions. They play a vital role in improving access to healthcare in rural and high needs population areas where timely access to doctors can be difficult.

“These changes recognise nurse practitioners’ advanced clinical training and competencies. They are strongly supported by nursing organisations which have advocated for the removal of regulatory barriers to nursing practise.

“MSD clients that already use a nurse practitioner for their primary healthcare, will be able to see the same nurse when applying for, or renewing, their benefit assistance for their medical conditions, instead of having to see a doctor.

“The changes are especially helpful for those living in small towns or rural communities where the closest doctor may be miles away. It will cut out extra travel costs and doctor fees and time spent waiting for a doctor’s appointment. It also makes better use of our health workforce.

“I welcome these changes and expect they will improve access to primary healthcare and services for some of our most vulnerable New Zealanders,” Carmel Sepuloni said.