The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the Government’s signalled adoption of major health system reforms outlined in the long-awaited Heather Simpson report.
Union spokesman Jordan Williams says, “Last year we reduced a series of reports on productivity in the health system, the first of which suggested slashing the number of DHBs and replacing unqualified elected members with appointed ones. We’re extremely pleased to see the Government adopt these proposals.”
“The ugly truth is that our health system is facing a productivity crisis. Between 2004 and 2015, there was zero cumulative growth in healthcare productivity. Health spending is expected to grow from 6.2% of GDP in 2016 to 9.7% of GDP by 2060, contributing to debt hitting 205.8% of GDP by 2060. Even on current budgets, DHBs are racking up massive deficits. We need more efficient models that ensure every dollar is targeted at the area of greatest need.”
“We’re less keen on the proposal for a separate Māori Health Authority to increase ‘kaupapa Maori services’. If this means greater emphasis on pseudo-medicinal practices like astrology-style ‘maramataka’ or prayer, then it’s taxpayer money down the drain. And any targeting of health funds on the basis of race, rather than medical need, should be rejected by fair-minded New Zealanders.”