Just the pill to reduce wait for specialist
Long wait times at southern clinics may be reduced by changes to the way specialist medicines can be prescribed.
Pharmac has announced general practitioners, along with urgent care, rural hospitals and pain-medicine practitioners will now be able to prescribe subsidised specialist-only medicines to their patients.
The move will allow greater access to specialised care without the added cost and time required to see specialists.
Some oncology and psychiatric prescriptions, however, will remain exempt from the changes.
Southern Primary Health Organisation chief executive Ian Macara said the changes would help reduce demand on specialist practitioners.
"These changes introduce flexibility and more timely management of health conditions," he said.
Health Minister Tony Ryall said the changes would streamline processes for GPs as they would no longer need to seek approval from busy specialists.
"This change will make it easier for patients to receive funded medicines and reduces the workload for doctors to prescribe."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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