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New Zealand Health Strategy Development Underway

MEDIA RELEASE, 8 March 2000

New Zealand Health Strategy Development Underway

The New Zealand Health Strategy is a step closer with the appointment of two key groups to work on it, Health Minister Annette King said today.

"The development of a New Zealand Health Strategy is integral to achieving our objectives in health, which focus on improving health outcomes and reducing disparities," Mrs King said.

A Sector Reference Group of consumers and providers from all sector areas will guide the strategy development under the leadership of Director-General of Health Dr Karen Poutasi.

"This group comprises people with the expertise and experience to ensure the New Zealand Health Strategy provides the strategic framework for the health sector. The strategy's emphasis is on improving health outcomes, reducing disparities and addressing Maori health needs.

"Their work will be vital in ensuring the strategy captures both the Government's intentions for the development of the health sector and the involvement of those in the sector who will lead the process."

An Expert Advisory Group has been appointed to advise on specific health goals and objectives.

"The strategy won't be set in stone but will evolve over time as population and health technology changes. The strategy will emphasis links between health and other sectors like housing and employment."

The strategy will provide a context and priorities for the work of District Health Boards. A first draft is expected to be available for wide consultation in June.


Background Information
The Government's health and disability objectives are;

 Improved health and independence and reduced inequalities
 Meeting health and disability support needs of local communities
 More effective use of available resources
 Increased community involvement in decision-making
 A non-commercial, collaborative and accountable public health sector
 Clear accountabilities

Sector Reference Group members;

Dr Karen Poutasi, Ministry of Health (Group Chair)
Lynette Stewart, Te Tai Tokerau Mäori MPO
Jane Holden, Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind
Claire Austin, Age Concern
Prof Colin Tukuitonga, Maori and Pacific Health Unit, Auckland School of Medicine
Dr Barbara Disley, Mental Health Commission
Brenda Wilson, New Zealand Nurses Organisation
Karen Guilliland, New Zealand College of Midwives
Dr John Broughton, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Otago School of Medicine
Dr U Manukulasuriya, General Practitioner Taumaranui
Alison Paterson, Waitamata Health Ltd
Dr Pippa MacKay, New Zealand Medical Association
Prof Mason Durie, National Health Committee
Stuart Bruce, Office of the Minister of Health
Dr David Bawden, Tikipunga Medical Centre
Cheryl Hamilton, Health Promotion Forum
Pauline Hinds, Lakeland Health
Sandra Coney, Women's Health Action

Expert Advisory Group members;

Dr Don Matheson, Project Manager, New Zealand Health Strategy (Chair)
Assoc Prof Charlotte Paul, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Otago School of Medicine
Prof Norm Sharpe, Auckland School of Medicine
Dr Barry Gribben, Department of General Practice and Primary Healthcare, Auckland School of Medicine
Dr Chris Cunningham, Health Research, School of Maori Studies, Massey University
Ratana Walker, Research Manager for Maori Health, Health Funding Authority
Dr Toni Ashton, Department of Community Health, University of Auckland.

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