Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Changes In The Health Sector

Re Changes in Health Sector

THE Government has agreed on a plan and timetable to implement improvements to the public health system, Health Minister Annette King said
today.

"More importantly we have also agreed to the development of a New Zealand Health Strategy, setting out our goals and targets as we strive to reduce disparities and become a healthier country," Mrs King said.

"The strategy will pick up the experience, the suggestions, the views and concerns of many of those working in and dedicated to health, as well as incorporating some of the excellent work already done in developing specific strategies. It will fix our sights firmly on improving the health of the population."

Mrs King said initial work on the strategy was being done by the Ministry of Health, and further development of the strategy, which would include the health sector's response to a discussion document on the future of primary care, would be guided by a wider health sector reference group.

The Minister said structural changes, while the subject of much comment, were secondary to the Government's commitment to a health strategy that improved the health of New Zealanders.

"The structural changes have to occur to facilitate the delivery of the health strategy, but in the end what really matters is how well the new structures do in meeting the needs of New Zealanders," Mrs King said. "We are moving fast - to refocus the sector as quickly as possible on health gain, to maintain energy and to reduce uncertainty. But we intend to minimise disruption.

"Following the recently-announced changes to the HFA board we intend to start broadening the focus of Hospital and Health Services Boards to ensure they take account of the wider health needs of their communities.


"I will be appointing additional directors to HHS boards from later this month and conveying to them the Government's expectations about the ways in which they should move toward taking responsibility for improving, promoting and protecting the health of those in their communities, especially Maori.

"By the end of the year we will have transitional District Health Boards focusing on the whole spectrum of health needs and services for their communities. They will also be responsible for setting up the structures and processes needed by District Health Boards, expected to be fully functional from the 2001 local body elections."

Mrs King said District Health Boards would have a mix of elected and appointed members and would be responsible for a wide range of services.

"We know a lot of non hospital-based providers are concerned about how this new-look health structure will work for them. But people working in primary care, in Maori health, in disability support and in mental health will not be playing second fiddle to the local hospital. While we have not yet finalised the detail of new accountability arrangements, I have every intention of continuing and enhancing health initiatives which keep New Zealanders out of hospital."

The Government anticipated District Health Boards would employ some of those working in the Health Funding Authority. Disestablishment of the HFA was planned for the end of this year.

Mrs King said a ministerial committee was being established to oversee the changes, which were being led by the Ministry of Health. The changes would be incorporated in the New Zealand Public Health Services Bill, scheduled for introduction mid-year.

"Today's announcements set out some of the detail of how we hope to implement our health policy. Development of the public health system will be firmly in the hands of those who know it best, those working in the sector. We will look for their creativity, experience and input to create a better future.

"We believe we can improve the health of the community, take a simpler approach to funding, provide a community focus in the way services and organised and allow local input into decision-making about local services."

For more information, contact John Harvey (04) 471 9305.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>

 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election