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500 Written Submissions On NZ Health Strategy

Health Minister Annette King says New Zealanders have responded positively to the New Zealand Health Strategy, the Government’s blueprint for the future of the nation’s health.

Some 500 written submissions had been received on New Zealand's first comprehensive strategic approach to developing an outstanding public health service, she said. More than 1500 people had also attended 37 public meetings, hui and fono across the country.

The Strategy was released as a discussion document in Porirua on June 1, and was distributed to health professionals and providers, community groups and the general public as part of a consultation process, which finished at the end of July.

“The discussion document has generated debate among the health sector and wider public. Early indications from the public meetings and submissions show there is significant support for local communities having their say in how health services are tailored to meet their needs.

“District Health Boards, to be set up by the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill, will be responsible for ensuring local communities have input into the type and mix of health services available. The Health Strategy will provide the framework under which the new boards will operate, and will provide national targets to work toward," Mrs King said.

“The positive feedback is further endorsement of the Government’s aim to restore democracy and accountability to the public health service."

Mrs King said the Ministry of Health was analysing the submissions and incorporating feedback into the final document, to be released later in the year.

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