The last few weeks have been focused on meeting health and disability stakeholders across New Zealand and hearing their views on the current and future system. In addition to my meetings, the panel has been engaging within their specialties.

Dr Margaret Southwick recently attended a Nursing and Midwifery Symposium hosted by Counties Manuka District Health Board to celebrate International Nursing and Midwifery Days. As part of the programme Margaret was invited to update the audience on the work of the Health and Disability System Review and to provide a commentary on progress to date and the next phases of work planned for the Review. The participation and level of engagement on the part of those attending this session was an encouraging commentary on the degree to which they are committed to the Review’s stated challenge of addressing the historic and existing inequities experienced by some sectors of New Zealand’s population.

Shelley Campbell and Lloyd McCann have been meeting with thought leaders and representative groups such as DPO, NGO Council, and the Ministry’s Disability Consumer Consortium who have clearly articulated the journey for disabled people seeking to have greater choice and control over their lives. This is a sector that really understands and reflects diversity, has driven transformational change (with Enabling Good lives) and wants more action rather than talking. In addition to considering how the health system could work more effectively for disabled people, further work needs to occur around the boundaries with other government departments and support services. As such, over the next month, meetings are planned with Te Ao Mârama - around the Mâori Disability Action Plan - the Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group, Pacific disability leaders from Te Pou and Le Va and young disabled leaders to consider specific youth perspectives to guide future planning and design.

A reminder that written submissions close on the 31st May. We have heard from a wide range of consumer and sector specialists and their views on change. We welcome any further submissions and understand that many organisations are working to the deadline.

Find out how to contribute to the Review.

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