21 Feb 2013

Lower health funding increases set to continue

10:31 pm on 21 February 2013

The Health Minister says increases in health funding have slowed and that will continue for the foreseeable future.

Tony Ryall made the comments at the opening of the Massey University's College of Health in Wellington on Thursday.

Mr Ryall said New Zealand continues to increase health funding while some other countries are cutting back, but money is still tight and has to be put into the most effective areas.

The minister said he expects the new college to come up with affordable solutions to keeping New Zealanders away from doctors and hospitals.

Broad focus at college

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says the college will have a broad research focus on a range of topical issues.

Mr Maharey says 1300 New Zealanders surveyed about what they consider the major health problems, named obesity, lack of exercise, cancer and other concerns.

He says the college will focus on these general areas, with a particular interest in preventing poor health.

Mr Maharey says the university is spending a few hundred thousand dollars to set up the college, to be headed by Canadian Paul MacDonald.