Green Party welcomes landmark commitments from health sector for ADHD progress

Green Party spokesperson for Mental Health, Chlöe Swarbrick, welcomes commitments from the Minister of Health to six key areas of progress for the ADHD community, which would together represent one of the largest changes for the ADHD community in a generation.

“On Monday 22 August, ADHD New Zealand and I hosted representatives from DHBs, Police, Te Whatu Ora, professional medical Colleges and the Ministry of Health, alongside psychiatrists, paediatricians and general practitioners at Parliament,” says Green Party spokesperson for Mental Health, Chlöe Swarbrick. 

“There was groundbreaking consensus that the status quo is not working for people with ADHD and commitment to six key actions.” 

“This is the roadmap for transformational change to ADHD diagnosis and treatment, the biggest we’ve seen in a generation. Crucially, this includes changes to the ‘special authority’ process which has been an expensive and arduous barrier for many to access their medication.”

“I’m hugely encouraged to see the wheels of the Ministry already turning to meet these commitments and the Royal Colleges instigating the work immediately with their members,” says Chlöe Swarbrick. 

Below is a summary of the six key outcomes as approved by the attendees of the ADHD Action Day, including the Minister for Health:

  1. Improving access to ADHD medicine by addressing issues with special authority renewal and considering new medicines not currently available in NZ. Pharmac and the Ministry of Health have agreed to look at changes to special authority rules. Pharmac, with input from RANZCP, will investigate access to new medicines.
  2. Increasing the understanding of ADHD in Aotearoa through better data and research. Currently, there is no central repository of information on how many New Zealanders have even been diagnosed, how they’re being treated or levels of satisfaction.
  3. Building a consistent model of service for supporting those with ADHD across NZ as part of the health sector reforms. Te Whatu Ora has agreed to collaborate with providers to develop a consistent and quality model of service for assessment and support for ADHD as part of the health sector reforms.
  4. Adopting new medical practice guidelines for ADHD. The RNZCGP, NZCCP and RANZCP will investigate endorsing the Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA) guidelines in the interim with a view to tailoring for our local context – especially in terms of Te Tiriti compliance. Australia’s guidelines were developed in consultation with RANZCP and ADHD New Zealand believes these guidelines are world leading.
  5. Establishing an ADHD reference group with representation from government agencies, medical professionals and ADHD NZ to improve collaboration and information sharing and support the implementation of this programme of improvements. ADHD NZ has taken responsibility for this action point. 
  6. Delivering quality ADHD training for healthcare practitioners Including GPs, clinical psychologists, paediatricians and psychiatrists to ensure their understanding of ADHD remains up to date. Each of the colleges will begin upskilling their workforces with ADHD specific training – possibly drawing on AADPA training. This will be consistent across all colleges.

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