Public health organisations

Public health organisations deliver health services across New Zealand. Other health and non-health organisations may deliver some public health services as part of their usual business, for example, primary health and local government organisations.

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health provides direct advice to the Minister of Health and other sectors. It manages public health risks, plans and coordinates strategies, and funds public health services.

District health boards

District health boards (DHBs) are responsible for providing or funding the provision of health services in their district. This includes the services provided by public health units.

Public health units

Public health units (PHUs) cover all of New Zealand. These units are owned by district health boards and their public health units services are funded by the Ministry of Health. Some public health units cover more than one district health board area to provide the most effective coverage across an area.

Each public health unit contract usually includes a component that requires the delivery of services to Māori and other specific ethnic populations. Public health units deliver both health protection and health promotion activities, such as monitoring food and safety and providing information to the public about nutrition and physical activity.

Non-governmental organisations

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) provide public health services that ensure public health protection and prevention services work well in communities. They include:

  • organisations that provide services for the general population
  • organisations that provide for specific population groups
  • Māori-governed and managed services that provide services specifically for Māori and for the general population
  • Pacific-governed and managed services that provide services for Pacific peoples.

Public health NGOs may be funded through health or other government funding sources, or may receive funds from community grants, private industry or their memberships.

Some NGOs provide services that address a wide range of issues. For example, regional iwi providers deliver Well Child, stop smoking, nutrition and physical activity, alcohol and drug, and mental health prevention programmes and services. Some special interest NGO services focus on one issue, for example, the National Heart Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation.

Primary health organisations (PHOs)

In addition to providing treatment services to individuals (eg, GP services, physiotherapy, midwifery), primary health organisations may also provide public health services that meet the needs of the population groups in their community (eg, immunisations, screening services and stop smoking services).

Other organisations

There are a range of other organisations that participate in and contribute to public health action, but are not funded with government health money. For example, local government, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, the Department of Labour, the Ministry for the Environment, universities, territorial authorities, etc.

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