The New Zealand Health and Disability System has many strengths and overall our people are living longer and healthier lives.
Following an extensive programme of consultation led by the Ministry of Health, we have a clear and relevant vision for the system. This was expressed in the refreshed New Zealand Health Strategy (2016):
“All New Zealanders live well, stay well, get well”
and also in the New Zealand Disability Strategy (2016):
“New Zealand is a non-disabling society – a place where disabled people have an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and aspirations, and all New Zealand works together to make this happen”.
However, the way things operate currently means that there are wide disparities in health outcomes across our society. Many people, particularly those on low incomes, do not have access to care until they are very unwell, rather than receiving services they need to stay well in the first place. Outcomes for Māori are significantly worse than for the rest of the population and Pacific peoples also suffer from much lower than average health outcomes.
The system is also facing significant and rapid global, societal and technological change. It will need to operate differently in the future if it is to continue to deliver for New Zealanders.
The Health and Disability System Review Panel has been established to identify opportunities to improve the performance, structure and sustainability of the system in the future, with a key focus on equity. We have a clear direction that focuses on improving health and wellness outcomes for all New Zealanders and addressing the inequities, particularly for Māori and Pacific peoples.
We welcome your views on how we can best structure the health and disability system to achieve these goals.