The 2018 Health and Independence report outlines that overall New Zealanders have maintained a good level of health, but inequities in access to services and health outcomes continue to exist. Māori, Pacific peoples, people living in low socioeconomic areas and disabled people have comparably poorer health outcomes.
The 2018 report focuses on the fact that poor social conditions and the determinants of health (such as housing) underlie unequal health outcomes among New Zealanders.
Non-communicable diseases drive most of our ill-health and premature death. However, communicable and infectious disease vigilance is as necessary as ever to protect public health.
The 2018 report is divided into six sections.
Starting point – Section one presents an overview of New Zealand’s population and overview of the system. We have a diverse, growing and ageing population. And we know that we must meet the health and disability needs of all New Zealanders.
Determinants of health and wellbeing – Section two highlights the various factors that have either negative or positive effects on the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.
Population health measures – Section three highlights how we measure the health of our population in various ways to identify health issues affecting New Zealanders and highlights inequity in health outcomes for certain groups.
Causes of health loss and our health outcomes – Sections four and five highlight how key non-communicable diseases and intentional and unintentional injuries contribute to our health loss. It includes information on how New Zealanders of different ages rate their own health.
Addressing the Challenges – Section six acknowledges that the Ministry of Health and our sector partners must drive key shifts in the system to ensure improved outcomes for all New Zealanders now and in the future.