Following the release of the Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa | New Zealand Government’s 2023 budget, the Australasian College of Paramedicine (the College) welcomes the government’s investment in healthcare and its promise to boost frontline health staff. But, with no mention of new sustainable initiatives that recognise the important work paramedics are doing beyond emergency care, nor an implementation plan for integrated team-based healthcare in sight, it’s looking like once again, the paramedic workforce will be left to prop-up the struggling heath system this winter.
“With winter approaching, the paramedic workforce is facing another long season of high-demand, workforce shortages, and little hope for innovative change that sees this integral health workforce supported, recognised and utilised in innovative ways that improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders,” said John Bruning CEO.
“While it’s always welcome news for the health system to receive increased funding, how that funding is best used to directly improve health outcomes, and what changes need to be made to ensure the healthcare workforce are supported, are the vital details missing from the budget.”
Paramedics are a critical workforce delivering high-quality healthcare across emergency, urgent and primary care settings. Paramedics are frontline workers, and they are also supporting primary and community team-based care, yet the budget appears to have overlooked the innovative ways in which paramedicine can improve healthcare access and person-centred care.
“We look forward to working with the Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand and Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health to support the development of sustainable healthcare initiatives and policies to ensure that paramedics are recognised and supported to deliver improved healthcare for all New Zealanders."
The College is calling for more clarity on where the funding will be allocated to make meaningful change.