10 Sep 2012

Cutting hospital medical supplies won't be simple - NZMA

10:43 pm on 10 September 2012

The New Zealand Medical Association says cutting spending on hospital medical supplies will not be a simple task.

The Government has given Pharmac responsibility for purchasing all hospital medical supplies, which currently cost about $880 million per year.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says too much of the health budget is being spent on supplies: district health boards currently buy 24 different brands of gloves and nearly 30 types of surgical instruments.

The NZMA says Pharmac will need to thoroughly research before cutting down on any medical supplies.

Chair Paul Ockleford says the agency will need to seek clinical advice and contract agreements before cutting any supplies.