New health system to improve health for all Kiwis

Health Minister Andrew Little. Photo: File.

The rollout of the new nationwide health system continues with the launch of the country’s first national public health system to fight disease and promote healthy lives.

The Public Health Agency will lead and co-ordinate population and public health policy, strategy and regulation, while the national Public Health Service will do the work on the ground.

“Having a coordinated national public health system instead of the old fragmented one will help all people to live better, healthier lives for generations to come,” says Health Minister Andrew Little.

“In the past, our public health system lacked coordination and collaboration which made it difficult to focus on the prevention of illness and disease across the country, such as hepatitis, HIV, respiratory illnesses, smoking, healthy eating and substance abuse.”

Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall says the Government is investing an extra $61 million for establishing the national Public Health Agency and the new National Public Health Service, bringing together the existing 12 public health units into a single organisation.

“Our world-leading response to Covid-19 was underpinned by strong public health evidence and national coordination of public health operations,” says Dr Verrall.

“We’ve learnt through the pandemic that a successful public health response requires collaboration across Government departments with community to weave together relationships and plans.

“Establishing a new national Public Health Agency will ensure these capacities are retained and used to meet future public health challenges.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a system where all New Zealanders have equitable access to basic public health and illness prevention that will enable them to live longer in good health and have the best possible quality of life,” says Dr Verrall.

Dr Verrall planted a flax at the Ministry of Health’s office in Wellington on Monday to mark the start of the new public health system.

Budget 2022 invests additional funding of up to $61 million into a new public health operating model.

This supports the establishment of the new Public Health Agency and a new National Public Health Service.

Additional funding of up to $10.8 million is allocated for critical digital and data infrastructure to enable the new National Public Health Service to operate.

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Posted on 08-07-2022 10:26 | By Kancho

Well hope that the bureaucracy doesn’t swallow up.most of the funding. The visa debacle and the restrictions imposed on our borders previously with no priority for skilled for medical and other skilled people has caused huge problems. Even those already working here left because of delays with visa for them and families. I hope the systems improve I ready do but in five years of talk and spin have seen little improvement in most aspects of child poverty, child harm,, housing, mental health, policing, etc in fact some worse than ever. We have more problems now with cost of living higher prices . Still the government taxes increase as GST take goes up on food too.

It seems to me........

Posted on 06-07-2022 09:01 | By groutby

....that the main result from this change is that patient information will be (when IT infrastructure is established between former DHB’s) able to be shared directly and I guess option for patients to travel between hospitals for faster treatment which was previously not available under the DHB system. If so, the theory is probably sound, but there are still the same pressures on individual Hospitals and facilities, medical staff shortages and would suspect not a hell of a lot of money available to finance both Health NZ and Maori Health Authority within the new regime. Let’s hope it will be successful but my suspicion is yet more ’smoke in mirrors’.....

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