Draft Update to Health Strategy Already Attracting Attention

Media release

04 November 2015

The draft update to the New Zealand Health Strategy is already attracting international attention.

“New Zealand unveils its draft national health strategy - and it’s got a lot others around the world could learn from,’ noted American surgeon, author and public health researcher, Professor Atul Gawande has tweeted.

The draft updated strategy has five strategic themes – people-powered, closer to home, value and high performance, one team, and smart system. Priorities include prevention and wellbeing, more integrated services, support for innovation, better collaboration, new ways of working to reach our most vulnerable, giving every child a healthy start, and ensuring information and services are more accessible.

It is designed to provide the health sector with a clear, unified direction for the next 10 years and includes a road map of actions for the next five years.

Health Minister, Dr Jonathan Coleman released the draft Health Strategy update for public consultation last week. The Ministry of Health has launched a web-based discussion forum and has organised more than 80 workshops, meetings, hui and fono around the country.

Director-General of Health, Chai Chuah, said the Ministry of Health is looking forward to wide discussion on the draft strategy.

Mr Chuah said that the on-line forum was new ground for the Ministry and that it was likely to generate robust debate.

“Health is a topic of interest for many Kiwis, and we should be prepared that some people may be critical about aspects of the health system or the Ministry,” he said. “It is only by allowing this sort of open discussion that we can fully understand the complexity of the issues we are grappling with in order to make our health system the best it can be.”

“Ministry staff feel a responsibility to ensure we make the most of the opportunity to lead New Zealand’s health sector from being good to great,” Mr Chuah said.

“What a great opportunity to hear a wide range of views – from clinicians, DHBs and other provider organisations, Māori, Pasifika, service users, and consumer groups. We want to know how our health and disability system can be developed further to support the health of all New Zealanders into the future.”

The Ministry will be consulting on the draft Strategy and Roadmap from 27 October to 4 December 2015.

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