Neurological Alliance calls for better resourcing of the healthcare system

We’re part of the Neurological Alliance, a group of like-minded organisations pushing for better resourcing so that New Zealanders with neurological conditions have a better quality of life and a brighter future. 

The Alliance is calling on the government to: 

  1. Address health workforce shortages to speed up diagnosis and treatment 
    There are chronic shortages in neurologists, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychotherapists, speech language therapists and home-carers. NGOs also face challenges with recruitment and retention of specialist staff, as underfunding of the not-for profit sector by Government undermines our ability to compete for staff within the wider health sector.
  2. Increase funding for pharmaceutical treatment to improve quality of life 
    Pharmac’s complex decision-making processes, lengthy timeframes and strict rationing of pharmaceutical treatments is impacting the quality of life and in some cases, the life expectancy of people with neurological conditions. The Neurological Alliance is calling for full implementation of the recommendations from the Pharmac Review 2021. 

A news story this week perfectly illustrates the challenges that Kiwis are facing. 

Bruce Street is eligible for a funded treatment that could help slow the progression of his multiple sclerosis (MS), but it isn’t available in Canterbury. 

In October last year Pharmac decided to fund a drug for MS called Ocrelizumab, for patients with one of the two major forms of the disease. 

But for Canterbury patients the celebrated decision has fallen flat – with dozens being turned away due to severely stretched resources across a number of services. 

Read more Access to life-changing MS drug ‘snatched away’ by staff shortages | The Press

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