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The Government this morning announced a major change to move all DHBs into one national organisation, called Health New Zealand.
A new Māori Health Authority will be introduced with certain powers under legislation to commission health services and monitor the state of Māori health outcomes. It can develop new policy also.
Health Minister Andrew Little announced that primary healthcare should have fairer access for all New Zealanders within the health sector.
“We are going to put the emphasis squarely on primary and community healthcare and will do away with duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy between regions so that our health workers can do what they do best – keep people well,” said Andrew Little.
“The reforms will mean that for the first time, we will have a truly national health system, and the kind of treatment people get will no longer be determined by where they live.”
Responsibilities will be put to rest with the new Public and Māori Health Authorities to monitor the state of health for both and gain abilities to commission services directly, including replacing the current 20 district health boards with the new Crown entity. Four regional divisions will be formed.
The Ministry of Health will be strengthened and advise the Government on policy matters.
“The reforms herald a change in focus for the health system – we will treat people before they get sick so they don’t need to go to the hospital, thereby taking the pressure off hospitals,” said Andrew Little.
“We all know how stretched our hospitals and specialist services are, and that’s large because people are not getting the healthcare they need, when they need it, to stop them becoming seriously unwell.”
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