Local health offices set up as reforms steam ahead

Health Minister Andrew Little. Photo: STUFF / Robert Kitchin.

The government will start with nine localised health offices, in efforts to retain a local voice, as it progresses its health reforms.

Health Minister Andrew Little in Levin this morning announced the move as part of the reforms, which will see the country's 20 district health boards replaced with a single organisation, Health NZ.

Little says the localities are being considered as "pilots" which will test ideas for the national rollout of the reforms, and new localities would be set up over the next two years.

He says between 60 and 80 localities will be expected to be up and running by July 2024.

They will be a collective of networks that will provide advice to both Health NZ and the Māori Health Authority.

The initial offices would be located in:

  • Ōtara/Papatoetoe
  • Hauraki
  • Taupō/Tūrangi
  • Wairoa
  • Whanganui
  • Porirua
  • West Coast
  • Eastern Bay of Plenty
  • Horowhenua

Little says they will give people a "more direct voice to determine how health services are delivered".

"Locality networks will be how communities, including iwi, have a say on what health services are provided for them, and how they will be provided.

"Once Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority have worked with communities to identify their localities, a locality commissioner will be assigned to work with community and providers - to meet and talk about their priorities for local care.

"Locality networks are required to consult, engage and capture the input of the communities they represent including iwi, local authorities and social sector agencies rather than relying on a small number of elected reps under the DHBs."

The offices will vary depending on population characteristics, he says, with urban localities serving a larger population compared to rural ones which might serve a larger geographical area.


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1 Comment

Probably the start

Posted on 21-04-2022 15:05 | By Kancho

Fine tuning or reforms are fine providing better results are achieved. Health is a big budget item especially with an aging population. So hopefully more funding or better spending but not a penny pinching exercise. Problem is this government is setting up seperatism where race rather than need and access is the direction.

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