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Check up for Health Strategy

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

15 December 2005 Media Statement

Check up for Health Strategy

Real progress has been made towards achieving the goals of the New Zealand Health Strategy, but there are major challenges ahead, Health Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

The Minister's comments follow the release of Implementing the New Zealand Health Strategy 2005 – the strategy's fifth annual progress report.

"Tobacco consumption is falling faster than in almost every other country in the OECD, we have our lowest suicide rate in a generation and we've changed the face of primary health care," Pete Hodgson said.

"Revisiting the health strategy five years on, we've got to be happy with what New Zealanders have achieved.

"What we can't do is allow ourselves to become complacent. No one should have any doubt that we still have a lot of work to do.

"The obesity epidemic is looming large on the horizon and threatens to undo much of the progress we've made. Our ageing society presents a number of challenges around residential and home-based care. We must continue to work with health professionals to address issues in the health workforce.

"None of this will be easy and we'll certainly never be able to say the job is done. But the success we've had since 2000 gives me every confidence that New Zealanders are up for the challenges we face."

Implementing the New Zealand Health Strategy 2005 is available at www.moh.govt.nz

Other notable initiatives and advances include: an additional 200,000 women having access to publicly funded breast cancer screening; access to lower general practice fees and reduced prescription charges for 18 – 24 year olds enrolled in Primary Health Care Organisations; and the largest public hospital upgrade in New Zealand history.

“New Zealand is leading the way in the population health approach to the delivery of many services, and the injection of $2.2 billion dollars of new money into primary health in our communities. Primary health plays a central role in improving the health of New Zealanders, and preventing or delaying hospital admissions, but we still need to get in front of the looming epidemics of obesity, diabetes and cardio vascular disease. " says Mr Hodgson.

"I hope that the Healthy Eating – Healthy Action: Oranga Kai – Oranga Pumau Action Plan, another significant initiative mentioned in this year's report, will do just that and this time next year we see some tangible results, and buy-in from all New Zealanders.”


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