AHANZ engagement with NZIER
Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand (AHANZ) members have been given the opportunity to engage with the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to carry out a project on behalf of the wider Allied Health (AH) professions.
The NZIER proposed research would produce a report pitched at decision makers for the upcoming healthcare organisation and funding restructure. This includes the Prime Minister's Chief Executive and Treasury. It is considered a once in a generation opportunity to improve the AH position and funding within healthcare and the hope is, that by engaging NZIER that the report will carry significant independent 'weight' and that a paradigm shift will occur at a government level giving AH, including massage, visibility and a stronger stakeholder voice.
There is of course no guarantee of pickup or specific outcome of this AHANZ initiative, but the impact and use of this document is likely to be long term and can be used by individual associations. Our confident outcome from contributing to this initiative is mention of massage within groupings referred to in the report eg. mental health services and physical services. We will have the opportunity to review the draft and to suggest edits before it is submitted.
In March 2020 the Simpson Report clearly highlighted how the biomedical approach to primary health care influences the health and disability sector in Aotearoa New Zealand. One of their recommendations is the need to hold the primary health care agencies accountable with an emphasis on their funding allocations along with the immediate need to prioritise community and whanau health. In a nutshell, system - level changes need to occur that are sustainable for a more equitable and positive health outcome for all New Zealanders.
In 1991 District Health Boards (DHBs) were divided and this March 2021 decisions around the primary model of merging them back together will be made. This provides Allied Health professions with an opportunity to be repositioned within DHBs, primary health care and in private health practices including funding following the patient and not stopping at the GP so that Allied Health treatment is not seen as an expense but rather an important and effective treatment in Healthcare. This could also allow patients the flexibility to choose the type of treatment they receive.
What this means for MNZ is that we are now presented with the opportunity to express the value that we have as an Allied Health profession and can offer within the District Health Boards and other primary health care settings. Over the next five weeks we will work to collaborate in the research of NZ and international relevant information about workforce, benefits of massage in early intervention, aged care, chronic illness, and in providing treatment choices for indigenous communities.
If you are interested in being involved in a working group regarding this please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a hefty price tag to do this and AHANZ requires contributions. The MNZ Executive sees high value in this project and wishes to contribute. As a smaller organisation $2000 is a reasonable pledge. Although we see this as a once-in-several-decade opportunity and another step in the lifting of the professionalism of Massage, MNZ is mindful of the current financial situation especially coming through a pandemic year - so we are taking the unusual step of asking for assistance in the raising of $2000 as our contribution. A one-off donation of $5 - $10 dollars could propel us to the forefront of policy decision-making. We welcome larger donations if it is within your means as we know not everyone will be able to contribute.
Click here for more Information on the NZIER proposal
Here is the Executive overview of the Simpson Report
If you are able to donate towards this please make your payment to:
Massage New Zealand Incorporated
Iselde de Boam
MNZ AHANZ Representative - email@example.com
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