OTNZ-WNA meeting with Hon Dr David Clark Minister of Health

News Flash! Yesterday Peter Anderson (Executive Director, OTNZ-WNA) Harsh Vardhan (OTNZ-WNA President Tangata Tiriti) and whaea Iris Pahau (OTNZ-WNA Tikanga Advisor) met with the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. David Clark.

The meeting was hosted by Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand at Wellington. The agenda of the meeting was as per the following:
Hon. Dr David Clark – Minister of Health
Dr Jill Clendon – Acting Chief Nursing Officer
Dr Andrew Simpson – Chief Medical Officer
Claire Austin – Group Manager, Health Workforce NZ,
Laura Seary – Advisor, Service Commissioning, Integrated Service Design\Community and Ambulance\Primary Care –

Outcome: The minister talked about health priorities of the government: equity; mental health; primary health care and prevention, and child health and well-being. He pointed out that NZ health system needs a review and he is committed to it. Acknowledging the significance of allied health, scientific, and technical professionals (approx. 30,000) across New Zealand, in driving health system forward, the minister urged allied health professionals to participate actively in the forthcoming Health and Disability systems review and consultation process, adding that draft terms of reference of the process will be out soon.

We took this opportunity to reiterate a very important excerpt from OTNZ-WNA mental health submission – “There is an over-emphasis on talking therapies at the cost of ‘doing’ therapies. Occupational therapists focus on getting people back to doing what they want, need and must do, to get well and stay well”.