Insurers welcome new Pharmac role
Sun, 09 Sep 2012 2:10p.m.
Health insurers are welcoming Pharmac's new responsibility for buying hospital medical devices, saying rising public health spending is unsustainable.
Health Minister Tony Ryall, in announcing the move, said the state drug-buying agency had a track record of saving money through bulk purchasing of medicines and it should be able to do the same with hospital supplies such as gloves and gowns.
Around $880 million was spent last year on 250,000 types of medical supplies, which was just over 6 percent of the total health budget. Savings worth $9 million are expected in the first two years.
Health Funds Association chief executive Roger Styles said Government efforts to rein in health inflation were welcome, as the unsustainable rate of growth in public health spending had been a concern over the last decade.
"New Zealand now has one of the most unbalanced health sectors in the OECD, with a dangerous over-reliance on public spending," he said.
"Trying to contain the level of public spending is one way to help rebalance the sector. To this end, efficiencies in the sourcing of medical devices and supplies are welcome news," Mr Styles said.
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10/09/2012 12:24:19 p.m.
The Health Funds Association is the body that represents health insurers. I couldn't possibly imagine why they don't like public spending on health.
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