28 Jun 2011

NZ health system 'good but unsustainable'

12:56 pm on 28 June 2011

A conference on the future of healthcare has been told New Zealand has a good health system, but it is increasingly unsustainable.

The two-day conference in Auckland is hosted by the medical technology association.

Health Workforce New Zealand executive director Des Gorman told the gathering on Tuesday that demand for healthcare from a growing and ageing population will double over the next decade.

However, he says the supply of extra health workers and the ability of the country to maintain high and rising health spending will fail to keep pace.

Professor Gorman says the mis-match between workforce demand and funding should pave the way for new ways of doing things.

He says there is a need for innovative ways of delivering care and the future workforce will need to be generalists largely who are used flexibly and retrained rapidly.