Health reform legislation - NZSA submission

44 days ago
By: Daphne Atkinson

The NZSA submission on the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill, which will provide the legislative framework for the health system reforms, called for key amendments to help ensure meaningful change to our health system.

The Bill includes disestablishing our DHBs and replacing them with Health New Zealand and the Maori Health Authority. 

While we commended the aims of the reforms to reduce variability of health services and achieve greater health equity, particularly for Māori, we proposed the following amendments to strengthen the Bill underpinning these reforms: 
- Embedding clinical governance in the health system by mandating it to be a requirement of the boards of both Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority.
- Ensuring Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority engage with the health workforce by legislatively mandating consultation with professional associations when developing key health strategies and plans.
- Strengthening and mandating in the Bill’s purpose, and the new entities’ requirements, to address the social determinants of health.
- A greater focus on public health with inclusion of public health priorities.
- Making our healthcare workforce, the backbone of a well-functioning and efficient healthcare system, a core component and strategy of the Bill.  
- Including environmental sustainability on the list of health system principles (we provided suggested wording in our submission).

Other key recommendations:
- Reviewing the funding model for current health service delivery, which is flawed and out of date.
- Greater focus on building and valuing our health workforce.

The NZSA submission also included questions in relation to information gaps in the Bill and advocated for greater engagement and genuine consultation with the health sector. The NZSA will continue to seek more information, and to monitor, engage and contribute to help shape the health reforms. Read NZSA submission here