Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People EMS Equipment Provision

With members of the PNZ Paediatric (PSIG) and Older Adult (OASIG) Special Interest Groups, we have written to Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People expressing concern for recent changes to EMS equipment provision.

This includes that the changes are being implemented with insufficient notice and a lack of consultation, and do not reflect equitable provision of resource.

The prioritisation tool is adult centric, and we have considerable concern that the discrepancy between Disability Support Services and ACC resourcing for children and whānau is widening.

Furthermore, for our older population the waitlist process seems at odds with the Healthy Aging strategy and the Ngā Paerewa Health and Disability Services Standard.

Read the full letter

Whaikaha Response

In reply to this letter, we met with Whaikaha in May and received the following responses.

  • Criteria changes are being made to better consider children, including those not yet in school. We can expect the updated criteria and guidance on how to apply these in the next month.
  • There is also work underway on expanding the Band 1 list to include equipment that better meets the needs of very young children.
  • Seating and wheelchair requests for people living in Aged Residential Care whose respiratory function is of concern are eligible under the P1 criteria. The aged care review is another opportunity to advocate for equipment provision and Whaikaha will help carry concerns to that forum alongside PNZ.
  • Whaikaha request that assessment processes continue and all applicable requests are made, including P2 requests. This allows them to show the real demand for resource. Withholding P2 requests will reduce the demand visible and give a false sense of the true need, reducing the argument for funding and affecting the ratio of P1 to P2 requests.

Thanks to all members for your support on this advocacy work, particularly leaders of the Paediatric and Older Adult SIGs. We look forward to providing further updates as they become available.

Page updated May 2024

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