Hon Dr. Megan Woods, who holds multiple ministerial portfolios including Minister for Research, Science, and Innovation, visited Medsalv’s Christchurch based reprocessing plant late last month. Her visit coincided with Medsalv receiving a funding boost for its Waste Minimisation Project from the Ministry for the Environment.
Dr Woods toured Medsalv’s facility alongside representatives from the Ministry for the Environment, Auckland Council, the Canterbury Joint Waste Committee, and Canterbury District Health Board. The group was able to review reprocessing procedures in person and see how new technology is being utilised to help Medsalv increase its environmental impact.
Medsalv is a start-up business, set up to make healthcare more environmentally and financially sustainable by reprocessing single-use medical devices to enable them to be used multiple times. Since late 2018 the company has been saving money and reducing waste for Canterbury District Health Board and several other DHBs around New Zealand.
Stella Ward, Executive Lead for Innovation at Canterbury District Health Board says “As one of the Canterbury Health Systems Via Innovation projects, we were keen to pilot and validate Medsalv’s waste reduction initiative at Canterbury DHB.”
“Any single one of its benefits would have enough to get us interested, but from the start it looked like a triple-win – it promised to save money that is always needed elsewhere in the health system, reduce waste by using devices multiple times, and at the end of a device’s useful life, there is a process to separate and recycle the components. Over our year in partnership with Medsalv, they have been able to demonstrate those triple benefits and live up to that promise. The potential for us, and health in New Zealand, is huge.”
Funding approved by Hon Eugenie Sage, Associate Minister for the Environment from the Waste Minimisation Fund for Medsalv’s project “Development of Single-use Medical Device Reprocessing Site and Supply Chain” will contribute $50,000 - Up to 18% of the cost of the project. Funding has also been received from:
Auckland Council’s Waste Minimisation Fund, towards collection equipment and increased capacity for the Auckland region
The Canterbury Joint Waste Committee, to assist with establishment costs for the test site, and to increase the quality of data captured as devices are collected from hospitals and reprocessed
The Sustainable Initiatives Fund, to assist with the funding of further research and development.
Medsalv founder, Oliver Hunt says that this additional funding will help Medsalv build on our already significant progress. “We are delighted that this funding boost will enable us to lead the way in a major aspect of sustainable healthcare for New Zealand, delivering cost savings and reducing waste towards a cleaner New Zealand, and healthier New Zealanders.”