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Health Minister stumbling over health reforms

Wyatt Creech

Opposition Health Spokesperson

2 May 2000

Health Minister stumbling over health reforms

The Minister of Health is failing to meet her self imposed health reform deadlines - creating uncertainty and undermining her plans to restructure the health system, Opposition Health spokesperson Wyatt Creech revealed today.

"Annette King is not coping with her workload. She has too much on her plate and nothing is being done properly.

"According to Cabinet's signed off timetable released by the Health Minister on April 6 a number of deadlines have passed and there's been no action.

"We've been waiting since April 11 for appointments to be made to "all transitional District Health Boards", we've been waiting since 7 March for a "Cabinet decision on the future of CCMAU", and five to six hui on Maori health were meant to be held in late March/early April but haven't happened.

"The Crown Statement of Objectives for the HFA were due on March 9 - but didn't come out until mid April.

"And the Primary Healthcare Strategy release had been intended for release on February 18 but the Minister said it didn't happen - because she had to attend a funeral. It wasn't released more than five weeks later at the end of March.

"Sweeping reform legislation is due before Parliament this month - but given this track record what chance is there that Annette King will be able to deliver comprehensive and well thought through law changes?

"The Minister has told Cabinet the timeframe is needed to 'generate public understanding of health policy and timing and encourage input'.

"The Minister's letting herself, Cabinet and New Zealanders down by constantly missing her own deadlines. That means the job isn't being done properly and we will all pay the price through ill-thought through and unnecessary changes."

Timetable from Cabinet paper released by Health Minister attached Ends

Inquiries: Wyatt Creech 04 4719 710
Indicative timetable key events health sector changes
Timeframe Event Audience(s) Communications Spokes-
person Lead Agency
Jan - June NZ Health Strategy Development All health providers,
interest / advocacy / professional groups Media MOH/HFA staff Speaking
engagements conferences/AGMs etc Viewpoints trade press Metropolitan dailies
Health Moves (AK newsletter) newhealth (website) Media release(s),
interviews Minister of Health DG of Health Chief Advisors MOH/HFA
Feb - April Set-up transitional DHBs All board chairs, boards,
providers, communities Media 1. HHS chairs 2. HHS boards/primary
providers/provincial media Designated person (Keith Marshall) MOH

18 Feb Hui for Maori providers Maori providers Maori media trade press
Health Moves Media release, interviews Maori media DDG TKHChief Advisor
19 Feb Advertisements for nominations transitional DHBs All
Media release Minister of Health MOH/CCMAU
Feb-April Setup transitional DHBs All HHS boards, providers,
communities, media 1. Engagement with board chairs 2. Engagement
boards/primary providers and provincial media Designated person (Keith
Marshall) MOH
21-25 Feb DG of Health visits to HFA localities Staff Informal
DG of Health MOH
March Papers to ad hoc ministerial committee- DHB role/governance - Maori
issues MOH/HFA staff Health sector newhealth Health Moves MOH

March - Decisions on Cabinet papers All Media conferences,
releases, interviews as appropriate Minister of Health
March Launch Primary Care Strategy discussion document All primary
health providers - Maori, mental health, DSS Media release / interviews
Launch IPA conference Trade press coverage Speaking engagements Health Moves
Minister of Health DG of Health DG/chief Advisors
March - June HFA contract round with providers All providers
Information kits HFA contract team personnel Media release(s) trade press

7 March Cabinet decision on CCMAU health future media staff media
release/interviews newhealth(extended to incorporate CCMAU) Minister of
9 March Tabling CSO for HFA media MOH / HFA staff Media release
minister newhealth Health Moves Minister of Health MOH / HFA
15 March Announcement overall MOH structure, appointment process for
tiers 2/3 managers staff HFA / MOH Central agencies Media staff
announcement / newhealth Health Moves media release DG of Health CEO HFA
31 March papers to ad hoc ministerial c'tee - accountability
arrangements DHBs - future HBL, Pharmac, blood - hospital investment (CCMAU)
central agencies sector Staff Health Moves newhealth DG of Health as
Chair of Officials' Group MOH / HFA / CCMAU
April - decisions on Cabinet papers All media conferences,
releases, interviews as appropriate Minister of Health
late March / early April 5-6 regional hui on health strategy/sector
changes Maori providers media release Maori media / interviews / coverage?
viewpoint assoc minister, Minister of Health Assoc Minister of Health
11 April Appointments to transitional DHBs All media
conference, releases, interviews as appropriate Minister of Health
*involvement HHS comms mgrs MOH / CCMAU
15 April Announcement successful tier 2 mgrs MOH / HFA staff
sector media central agencies staff announcement / newhealth Health Moves
media release MOH
30 April Signing of amended Funding Agreement (minister/HFA chair)
sector via media MOH / HFA staff media release OR Health Moves
newhealth MOH / HFA
1-7 May Announcement successful tier 3 managers Announcement detailed
structure for staff MOH / HFA staff sector staff announcement /
newhealth Health Moves MOH
May Introduction NZ Public Health and Disability Services Bill all
Health Moves media release inviting submissions, setting out timeframe all
media (key, trade, Maori) Minister of Health MOH
May-Sept Bill before select c'tee, consultation all as
appropriate (media coverage select c'tee)
30 June papers to ad hoc ministerial c'tee
*fiscal implications of chances (Tsy)
*funding MOH / TSY
July- Decisions on Cabinet papers all media conferences, releases,
interviews as appropriate Minister of Health
1 July New MOH structure fully operative all Health Moves media
release Minister of Health MOH
Nov Disestablishment HFA board Establishment transitional DHBs
Health Moves media release Health Moves media release / interviews / photo
opportunities as appropriate Minister of Health MOH
Nov 2001 Election DHBs MOH /


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