Healthy Hearts

21 August 2017

CE Jim Green

This week the Hospital Advisory Committee meets on Tuesday. On their agenda is a paper for their approval entitled Healthy Hearts Tairāwhiti – Save 1000 Lives.

This paper sets out a bold move to establish a local cardiology service through the recruitment of a Cardiologist and associated support personnel which will enable more efficient response to the diagnosis and care of Tairāwhiti people with heart disease.

At the same time there will be better support for primary care practitioners in the management of care for people and a campaign to significantly reduce the impact of heart disease on our population. As you may know we don’t do well in the incidence of heart disease and so we need to be as effective as possible in responding when there are symptoms and above all ensure we minimise risk for Tairāwhiti people.

Linked to this is the work going on in Radiology for the upgrade of imaging available for hearts which will allow for more diagnosis to be carried out in Tairāwhiti, speeding that up and reducing the need for people to travel out of district.

There are two features of this combined work across care for people with heart conditions that I want to emphasise.

The first is that clinical leadership has identified how we can respond better to the level of disease seen now, and that which will appear in the future if we don’t work as a community to get ahead of it. It is not acceptable for us to simply respond to the load of care required without identifying what can be improved. I am grateful to the whole team across Medicine and Radiology who have worked locally and through regional networks to come up with a better system, based on our strengths and retaining the best of the current. This is not the only example of this across Hauora Tairāwhiti however it is the latest and a very good example.

The second is that given the challenge of how to make this work within the resources we have the team has identified how savings across a number of areas will enable those resources to be used for the new services. Effectively, greater benefit will be derived from the same amount of resources (as in money in this case) being deployed in a different way. This is the kind of outcome we can achieve for the benefit of our community when all members of a team work together to achieve more.

I am confident the members of the Hospital Advisory Committee will see merit in what is being proposed just as has been the case for the clinical and management teams involved in creating the proposal, our colleagues in primary care and our leadership committees at Hauora Tairāwhiti.

I look forward to the next proposal and I do know there are more on the way.