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Cabinet Paper on Health Sector Redesign

MEDIA RELEASE, 4 February 2000

Cabinet Paper on Health Sector Redesign

A Cabinet paper released today makes it clear all key Government agencies support the Government's direction for the public health sector, Health Minister Annette King says.

"While officials in some agencies question the pace at which we are moving, and suggest we don't yet have all the information, there is certainly support for our direction for the sector," Mrs King said.

She said concerns about the tight timeframe for change had been taken into account, but the Government had decided that the benefits of reducing uncertainty as soon as possible and, particularly, retaining people and skills within the health sector, outweighed the disadvantages.

"Of course we don't know all the answers yet. I have been quite open in acknowledging that more work is needed to develop some of the policies which will support the changes."

"However, at this stage I believe it is more important to share our thinking than to wait until conclusions have been drawn and we have a complete set of answers. This way gives far greater scope for all those who want to have input into the New Zealand Health Strategy to do so.

"And as we want the public health system to be as inclusive as possible, we want to incorporate the thinking of all those in the sector who have good ideas, experience and knowledge to contribute."

Mrs King said release of the Cabinet paper illustrated the Government's commitment to an open and consensual approach. "I urge all of those with an interest in how we achieve better health and independence for New Zealanders to work with us over the next two years, in particular by feeding ideas into the New Zealand Health Strategy."

ENDS

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