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Leading Law Firm Says Businesses Should Get Ready For An Extended Period Of Change Ahead Of Large-scale Health Reforms

With implementation of large-scale health reforms commencing this week, leading law firm Bell Gully suggests that businesses dealing with the health sector prepare themselves for an extended period of change. Litigation partner Kirsty Dobbs recommends suppliers look to understand their contracts and address any issues with them as soon as possible.

Kirsty says there are three things businesses should keep in mind as the reform comes in. “Firstly, while the new legislation comes into effect on 1 July 2022, the reform process will be ongoing and businesses will need to keep abreast of the changes. Secondly, while the legislation will automatically replace DHBs as parties to contracts with Health New Zealand, suppliers should understand their remaining terms and look to front foot any issues as soon as possible to ensure they are dealt with in good time. Thirdly, looking to the future, a key change will be the eventual introduction of locality plans – suppliers will want to keep a close eye on developments in their local area.”

She says it is important to get across the relevant changes, and start planning for the future, now. “The best thing businesses can do is to be across their own contractual arrangements and be aware of the changes that are coming up.” Entities operating in the sector will want to ensure they are across the details of any changes which may impact their operations and to consider getting involved in consultations taking place as part of the implementation processes to ensure their voices are heard.

Therapeutic product suppliers will also want to keep an eye on reform expected in that space. Indications are that a new therapeutics products bill will be introduced towards the end of 2022/early 2023.

The changes are set to come into force on 1 July 2022.

Bell Gully recently released a report on the upcoming health reform which can be read [here].

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