Budget 2020: Vote Health

Vote Health is the main source of funding for New Zealand’s health and disability system and ACC is its other major source of public funding. It’s a significant investment – almost $20.27 billion in 2020/21 – in the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families. The Vote directly supports the day-to-day operation of strong and equitable public health and disability services delivered by a skilled workforce in our communities, hospitals and other care settings.

The Ministry of Health has a stewardship role to oversee positive change in the health and disability system.

Detailed information on the funding provided for health in Budget 2020 will be available on the Government’s Budget website.

Over the coming weeks, we will update key sections on our website to reflect these new initiatives.

DHB funding

A total $3.92 billion is allocated to district health boards in 2020/21 to provide additional support over the next four years, and another $125.4 million over four years to meet further cost pressures on planned care. DHBs have also had a one-off injection of $232.5 million to help them catch up planned care after COVID-19.


The Combined Pharmaceutical Budget, which is managed by PHARMAC and covers DHB purchasing of medicines, vaccines, medical devices and other treatments, has been increased by $160 million over four years. PHARMAC’s medicines budget will be a record $1.045 billion for 2020/21.

Disability Support Services

Disability Support Services will receive an additional $833 million over five years to take pressure off services and ensure access. This includes $103.7 million in 2019/20 and $182.2 million annually for the next four years. An extra $12 million has been invested towards transforming New Zealand’s disability support system to allow access to pilots happening around the country.

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