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Minister calls for stronger central role in health

4 May 2008 Media Statement

Minister calls for stronger central role in health

Health Minister David Cunliffe outlined his expectations of Ministry of Health staff and the wider health sector for 2008 in his speech to the Ministry of Health Leadership Forum on Thursday.

“The government has invested significantly in Health over the last nine years. We have made considerable progress in both primary and secondary health.

“We have reduced the costs of GP visits and prescription items and launched public health strategies like Healthy Eating Healthy Action which encourage people to take responsibility for their health. There are many other positive examples which are improving health outcomes for New Zealanders.

“However, there are always opportunities to improve. I outlined to Ministry staff, in their role as coordinators of the health sector, that I see three key areas to build on our achievements and deliver better health care to New Zealanders.

“During 2008 I want to focus on preventive and primary care, collaboration across the sector, and a strategic focus on key enablers like workforce planning and information.

“I have asked the Ministry to build on the platform established by the Government’s primary and preventive health care strategies. Over the next 12 months I want more input from clinicians and closer relationships between clinicians and management, primary and secondary services, DHBs and the Ministry.

“While DHBs are accountable for their own performance, the Ministry has a strong central role to play in leading sector wide outcomes and ensuring the integrity of the health system as a whole.

“It is only through collaboration and coordination across the sector that we can achieve our long term goals.”

ENDS

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