Health Workforce Development Fund

Information about the Health Workforce New Zealand Development Fund, the application process and key dates.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) is the second stage of a two stage procurement and invited shortlisted Respondents to undertake a detailed Proposal for the Health Workforce Development Fund (the Fund); initially begun by Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ) in mid-2018.

In the latter part of 2018 the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) underwent organisational changes, and a standalone Health Workforce Directorate was established.  The former HWNZ Board/committee is currently being reviewed and will be re-established soon.

In the first stage of the procurement process the Ministry invited Registrations of Interest (ROI) from the sector to provide innovative health workforce initiatives that demonstrated and included:

  • focus on equity and need
  • innovative and participatory models of care
  • professional and service collaboration
  • practice development and intelligence in more than one area.
  • The ROI received a total of 148 responses.

Current status

This current RFP stage is a closed tender to 36 Respondents shortlisted from the first stage. 

Respondents were invited to now provide a more detailed description of their proposed health workforce innovation. 

The Ministry may select a number of initiatives for funding through to trial or pilot stage. Contracts arising from this procurement are expected to be between 12 to 36 months’ duration, depending on the nature of the innovation. 

The aim of this procurement is to identify a range of both training (capability) and recruitment and retention (capacity) aspects of health workforce development within the identified workforce categories.

Government priorities

The Government’s health priorities have been identified as:

  • Achieving equity in health outcomes
  • Child wellbeing
  • Mental health
  • Primary health care.

Achieving equity in health outcomes remains a key priority, but from a workforce perspective it does not stand alone. All services and service delivery must include consideration of potential barriers to equitable outcomes and opportunities to minimise or eliminate these.

When translated into initiatives for developing the health workforce, the key workforce categories are those working directly in:

  • Child wellbeing
  • Mental health and addictions
  • Community-based services
  • Rural health services.

While it is unlikely that a single innovation can address all priority areas at once, preference will be given to Proposals that have the potential to deliver clear benefits in one of the categories listed above. Likewise, Proposal must respond to the original expectation of innovation; initiatives seeking funding for roles that are part of usual care will not be considered for funding through this process.

Process timeframe

The procurement process has unfortunately taken much longer than originally anticipated, due in part to the very large number of Proposals received in stage one and the necessity of examining each one in a fair and consistent manner. The Ministry sincerely regrets the inconvenience the delay is likely to have caused many of the original Respondents and thanks all Respondents for their patience to-date.

With the current RFP, the Ministry’s intention is to have the final list of successful Proposals identified in time to commence contract discussions in June 2019.

A list of all funded proposals and a summary of the initiative will be published in the Ministry’s website once the procurement process is completed.

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