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Health’s 80-year milestone

Hon Dr David Clark

Minister of Health



14 September 2018

Health Minister Dr David Clark says New Zealanders can look back in pride on 80 years of public health services today while acknowledging the need for improvement.

“Our public health system began in earnest 80 years ago today via the 1938 Social Security Act, which was an initiative of New Zealand’s first Labour Government,” David Clark said.

“It’s timely to consider the benefits for New Zealanders’ health as a result of the changes 80 years ago, largely from allowing access to fully funded health services.

“We should also acknowledge the dedication and hard work that generations of doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers have contributed over the last eight decades.

Our public health service has served us well, and I’m determined it will continue to do so in the future.

“That’s why we launched the Health and Disability System Review in May. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve equity and outcomes for New Zealanders.

“This review will deliver robust and far-reaching recommendations to build on our country’s proud history of 80 years with a public health system,” David Clark said.


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