People in Business

Holistic approach to health

Contrary to popular opinion, public health in New Zealand, more importantly, access to these services is as good as it gets and countries like the United Kingdom could learn a few lessons, says Professor David Sallah, an expert in the field.

He said New Zealand had taken significant strides in delivery of health services although a number of challenges remained to be tackled.

“I am told this includes proper assessment of the ailments suffered by people of Asian origin – a task that confronts New Zealand health authorities,” he said.

As mentioned in these columns earlier, non-availability of appropriate data often precludes the authorities to draft a National Health Plan to serve the South Asian and South East Asian communities better. While fragmented or sectional data is available, these are insufficient to put in place a proper plan of action.

The Centre for Asian Health Research and Evaluation (CAHRE), a research unit attached to the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland was established in 2004 to address the issue.

It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the diverse Asian communities in the country.

Professor Sallah is the Dean of the Academy for Improving Mental Health & Wellbeing, Leicestershire Partnership Trust and Emeritus Professor of Mental Health at the University of Wolverhampton. He was in Auckland recently to discuss related issues with the officials at CAHRE Director Dr Amritha Sobrun-Maharaj, Uniservices Portfolio Manager Shireen Nanayakkara-McDonald, HealthTRX Chief Executive and University of Auckland Honorary Senior Lecturer (General Practice & Primary Health Care) Anil Thapliyal, Labour MP Dr Rajen Prasad and others.

“The National Health Service is undergoing major structural changes in England, which some say could threaten its founding principles of its establishment in 1948 (to provide comprehensive range of services free at the point of consumption).

“The care of England’s minority ethnic communities is a priority that needs to be sustained,” he said.

According to Professor Sallah, the previous Government in Britain had a five-year National Programme to tackle the mental health needs of ethnic minorities.

The Programme, which ended last year, has yielded benefits in terms of access to services, improvement in experience of the service by people who use it and the quality of the outcomes of care.

“However there is a lot more to be done,” he said.

Professor Sallah said the focus should now be on providing services that are accessible and responsive to the needs of people.

“The UK NHS spends over £100 billion per year on health. This investment, close to the developed world’s average, is delivering services that are transforming the lives of people in the UK. However, there are major challenges,” he said.

These include life expectancy, infant mortality, cancer survival, obesity, smoking, alcohol misuse and chronic diseases.

“Mental health care, which has had the benefit of £1.4 billion investment over the last ten years, also faces a number of issues that must be tackled properly. A strategy called ‘New Horizons’ is now in place to improve quality and efficiency and focus on recovery. The biggest challenge is to overcome the stigma which some people attach to accessing mental health services,” he said.

The photograph here shows Professor David Sallah (extreme right) with (from left) Anil Thapliyal, Shireen Nanayakkara-McDonald, Dr Rajen Prasad and Dr Amritha Sobrun-Maharaj.

Nothing succeeds like success

For three years in a row, he won the ‘Best Medium Business’ category of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards (IBA).

In their notes, the Judges said that the Company was able to cope with the worst effects of recession with significant and necessary alterations made to its structure.

“This process would allow the firm to look towards enhanced profitability from 2010 onwards,” they said.

Toys R Fun and its Managing Director Neil Raniga have justifiable reason to be proud of their achievements. Now, the man behind the spectacular growth of the Company is making his recipe for success available to others, through Corporate Consulting Group Limited, which he established recently to assist New Zealand Companies to strive for success in the tough economic times.

“We look forward to establishing business partnership with clients in any industry. Our speciality is Small & Medium Enterprises within retail, import & distribution, service, healthcare and telecommunications industries,” Mr Raniga said.

Qualified as an Associate Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Auckland, he worked in the audit section of the firm, before moving to Starship the Children’s Hospital and other multinationals.

He established Toy R Fun about 14 years ago. Its ability to identify alternate channels to the market, focus on strategy and good governance have been the hallmarks of its success. According to the IBA judges, identification of alternative channels to market, and the management team’s focus on strategy and governance were among the best attributes of the Company.

Mr Raniga says CCG will bring in-depth industry experience to provide insight, challenge, guidance and direction to its clients and ensure growth in revenues, profitability, and market share.

“The Company’s core competency includes Business Growth, Business Development, and Increasing Profitability to Small and Medium (SME) organisations. We will offer expert advice and coaching to SMEs to achieve their potential and maximise their profitability. Strategy & Business Planning, Business Advisory, Modeling & Franchise Consulting, Audit & Assurance, Information Systems & Technology and Marketing Services are among our services,” he said.

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The photograph here shows Neil Raniga holding the Best Medium Business Trophy at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2010 Presentation Night at Stamford Plaza Hotel on November 15, 2011. Opposition Leader Phil Goff is also seen.

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