The interim Government Policy Statement on Health (or interim GPS) is the public statement of what Government expects the health system to deliver and achieve over the next two years, what funding and support are available and how success will be measured, monitored, and reported.
The interim GPS is focused on what should be achieved in the next two years – from July 2022 to June 2024. But these shorter-term actions provide the foundations for the longer-term direction, expected outcomes and objectives that will take more time to deliver.
The interim GPS sets priorities for the whole of the publicly funded health sector. The actions required will vary for different health entities but the core direction and outcomes will be consistent to ensure that all health entities work towards common goals that matter for people and whānau.
The interim GPS also sets clear parameters for the interim New Zealand Health Plan, which will demonstrate how the different entities that make up the publicly funded health sector will deliver on the Government’s priorities.
- Pae Ora Act – healthy futures
- Interim Government Policy Statement on Health 2022-2024 (includes Government Policy Statement Summaries on Health in various languages)
The interim GPS has six priority areas to guide the health system and how services are delivered.
1. Achieving equity in health outcomes
People with different needs and levels of advantage have access to different approaches and resources to achieve equitable health outcomes. In the reformed system this may look like:
- working towards equity in health and wellbeing
- recognition of the rights and obligations of under-served communities
The overall outcome is to have a health system that delivers high-quality health and wellbeing outcomes for all people and groups no matter where they live, what they have or who they are.
This priority was the focus of an online hui held in June 2022.
2. Embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi across the health sector
Māori exercise authority over their health and wellbeing and achieve equitable health outcomes in ways that enable them to live, thrive and flourish as Māori. In the reformed system this may look like:
- strengthened Māori leadership and decision-making
- increased access to kaupapa Māori and whānau-centred services.
Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025 will guide action across the system to improve Māori health over the period of this interim GPS.
This priority was the focus of an online hui held in April 2022.
3. Keeping people well in their communities
Community-based prevention, support and treatment services are prioritised, whānau-centred, culturally appropriate and fit with people’s lives—close to where they live, work and play. In the reformed system this may look like:
- improved service delivery across all health services, including responsiveness, digital services, and hospital networks, and identifying and addressing unjustified variation in healthcare
- health services are not disrupted, and people feel safe accessing care.
The overall outcome is a health system that protects, promotes and improves the health of all New Zealanders, across the continuum of need and throughout their lives. The services offered by the health sector will increasingly be based on what matters to whānau and on supporting whānau to exercise choice and decision-making for their own health and wellbeing. This was the focus on an online hui held in June 2022.
4. Developing the health workforce of the future
Growing and developing a resilient, diverse, and sustainable workforce that can respond to the needs of people and whānau and is representative of the population of Aotearoa New Zealand. In the reformed system this may look like:
- culturally appropriate services grounded in and framed by mātauranga Māori and Pacific wellbeing approaches
- the impact on the health workforce is minimised, and staff are supported through the reforms.
The health workforce needs to be representative of the communities it serves, to ensure fairness, and take action to achieve equity in health outcomes. The goal is to create an environment where health is a career of choice. This will be achieved by taking a whole-of-system, whole-of-workforce approach, underpinned by data, and by working with key stakeholder bodies.
5. Ensuring a financially sustainable health system
In a financially sustainable system resources are managed and allocated in a way that achieves the best possible levels of population health and equity within available resources and funding, now and in the future. To achieve this, funding should be prioritised to:
- meet the Crown’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations
- support people and whānau to stay well in their communities, including through strengthened preventative approaches
- target resources to achieve equity across groups
- build resilience to adapt to and recover from challenges and shocks, such as the response to and recovery from COVID-19.
6. Laying the foundations for the success of the future health system
A new culture and ethos, founded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, will be created to strengthen the focus on prevention, protecting and promoting the wellbeing of people and whānau. In the reformed system this may look like:
- working collectively and in partnership with communities, and other organisations
- consumer, whānau and community voices reflected in the system—improving progress towards equity in access, quality of care and outcomes.
The way the health system is organised, how entities discharge their functions, and the critical underpinning workforce and infrastructure will together create the environment to achieve pae ora.