NZMTS l Overview

The goal of the Medical Treatment Scheme (MTS) is to:

"provide increased and equitable access to secondary and teritary medical care for men, women and children in participating Pacific countries that would not be possible without MTS intervention"

Contries currently participating in MTS are Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The MTS has two service components and a Programme Management component:

a. The Overseas Referral Scheme (ORS)

ORS provides specialist medical treatment in New Zealand, Australia and in Fiji for people from Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu who have a life threatening or seriously debilitating medical condition and would have a good prognosis, but where appropriate treatment is not available in their own country.  The programme covers the costs of treatment from arrival in the country where treatment is to be provided until depature.  Support costs for accommodation, transport and a small living allowance may also be available.

b. Visiting Clinical Specialists (VCS)

The goal of VCS is where appropriate to provide in-country treatment for identified individuals that is not normally available and to maximize opportunities for builing capability through activities such as structured training (e.g. seminars for relevant health professionals) and/or on-the-job training of medical, nursing and allied health staff.

c. Programme management

Both components are managed on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trade, by Health Specialists Ltd.

Health Specialists Ltd is responsible for ensuring that the scheme achieves its objectives, that all outcomes are measured and that the scheme operates according to the approved guidelines.  Health Specialists Ltd approves and organises treatment for all patients referred for treatment by in-country Medical Treatment Committees (MTC) and organises visiting clinical specialist visits when countries request this.  Health Specialists Ltd (HSL) is responsible for the management and administration of overseas referrals from the time of request for treatment.  HSL ensures that correct invoices for all approved costs are sent to MFAT for final approval and payment.  HSL is also encouraged to identify and promote opportunities for capability and capacity building of health personnel in-country that are possible within resources available.

HSL is also required to report comprehensively to MFAT and other stakeholders.  There are a number of differenct MFAT stakeholders (e.g. Pacific Regional Health Programme, Bi-lateral Country programmes and Pacific aid posts) and stakeholders in Pacific countries (MTS Committees, Ministries of Health, and Aid Coordination Units).  Reports keep all stakeholders up to date and provide confidence that the scheme is opening correctly.

Within MFAT the MTS is managed by the International Development Group's Pacific Regional Human Development Programme which funds the management services costs.  The funds for each country's medical treatment are allocated through bi-lateral funding arrangements.