Kia ora tatou
I hope that everyone had a relaxing long weekend. Here are three items to note for the week ahead.
Practice Nurse Pay Parity
Discussions are underway between representatives of all the parties on the potential for practice nurses to be included in tranche three of the available funding to address pay disparity from July 1, after which, Health Minister, Ayesha Verrall will be advised by Te Whatu Ora. The advice relates to disparity arising because of the Employment Relations Authority ruling last December which gave DHB nurses a pay parity uplift backdated to March 2022. Prior to that ruling, the position of funders is that sufficient allocation was made through payments to practices under the PHO Services Agreement. If the Minister decides in favour, a paper will then go in May to Ministers, including the Minister of Finance, to enable the drawdown of the money for practices -100% of which must go to nurses pay. Workforce data will be needed from practices to determine the amount needed and the uplift offered, and a process for collecting that information will be developed as quickly as possible.
National Immunisation Task Force Report
The Report has been released and it makes sobering reading. Click here for the media release as well as the full report - https://www.tewhatuora.govt.nz/about-us/news-and-updates/taskforce-immunisation-report-welcomed/
Slides from the recent webinar are attached for a quick summary.
Funding for Casual Consults for People Displaced by Cyclone Gabrielle
To date, there has been low uptake of this initiative. Te Whatu Ora have connected with local teams and reviewed the need for ongoing funding. The funded casual consultations and prescription co-payment waiver for displaced people ended yesterday. This means that primary care co-payments and charges will return to ‘BAU’ from April 11.
There will continue to be people displaced for some time who may require assistance. MSD and MBIE have separate funding streams to support these groups.
Enjoy the short week.
Barbara Stevens|Tumu Whakarae/CEO