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Families the focus for Hodgson's health priorities

1 May 2006 Media Statement

Families the focus for Hodgson's health priorities

Health Minister Pete Hodgson has announced today that his priorities for the upcoming financial year will focus on the changing needs of New Zealand families.

In a speech reflecting on his first six months as Health Minister, Pete Hodgson signalled major work programmes across the health sector, from child health to aged care.

"The central responsibility of our health system is to promote opportunity for all New Zealand families," Pete Hodgson said.

"My priorities for the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards will ensure that we stay focused on meeting the changing needs of New Zealanders."

The priorities for the 2006/07 financial year are:

- Getting ahead of the chronic disease burden, including a major focus on obesity prevention
- Improving the health of young New Zealanders with initiatives to strengthen a range of child health services
- Further implementation and entrenchment of the Primary Health Care Strategy and the population approach to health care
- Improving aged care with particular attention to the growing number of New Zealanders who wish to remain in their homes for longer
- Increasing our strategic focus on the development of the health workforce
- Improving patient care through more aggressive implementation of the Health Information Strategy
- Providing more and better health services through increased cost-effectiveness in the sector

"In addition, I intend to continue to secure improvement across all elective services.

"I've been working with the Ministry of Health and DHBs since the start of the year to lay the groundwork for these priorities. I'm confident that they can be significantly advanced over the next 12 months.

"If we can, we will achieve real gains for the health of New Zealanders and our public health system will be better prepared for the challenges it faces. I look forward to announcing progress on these initiatives as the year progresses."

ENDS

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