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NZ Public Health and Disability Bill tabled

2 August 2000 Media Statement

NZ Public Health and Disability Bill tabled

Health Minister Annette King has tabled the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill in Parliament, and says the Bill officially signals the start of a change for the better in the health system.

"The Bill signals the end of an era for the market-driven public health service and the beginning of a more cooperative, collaborative approach to health care. It begins the process of rebuilding public confidence in the health system," she said.

"This Government is committed to achieving the best health and disability outcomes for New Zealanders and reducing disparities between population groups. To achieve these goals we are removing the competitive model that exists now, and allowing communities to be more involved in decision-making."

Mrs King said the Bill would ensure a population health focus and provide opportunities for local communities to have input into district health boards through elected representation on the boards, and through assessments of local health needs.

The first reading of the New Zealand Health and Disability Bill will occur next week, and it is expected to be sent to the Health Select Committee for consideration following the first reading.

Mrs King said the public would be invited to make submissions on the Bill, which will come into force on November 30, during the select committee stage.

Mrs King released 19 Cabinet papers yesterday on aspects of the health sector changes, and said these papers would increase public understanding of the reasoning behind the Bill.

Background information:

The NZPHD Bill repeals and replaces the Health and Disability Services Act
1993. The Health Reforms (Transitional Provisions) Act 1993 is also amended and renamed.

The Bill disestablishes the Health Funding Authority (HFA) and Hospital and Health Services (HHSs). District Health Boards (DHBs) are created in place of HHSs and will eventually carry out many of the functions previously performed by the HFA. The functions of the Ministry of Health will also be expanded.

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