Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Healthy Future for new Bill

The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill has passed its third reading in Parliament.

“This is a landmark reform for health in Aotearoa New Zealand, and is key to righting the wrongs of inequity and unacceptable health outcomes that have for too long been suffered by too many,” said Health Minister, Andrew Little.

“Removing the postcode lottery to put patients and communities at the heart of our health system is what the reforms are about. We need a system that works for all New Zealanders, and that is what we are building.”

The Bill is part of a health system reset. On July 1 it will establish Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority as permanent entities to replace the fragmented DHB system, establish the public health agency within the Ministry of Health, and strengthen the stewardship role of the Ministry of Health.

“All Māori want is an equitable health system that takes care of them. For far too long the status quo has failed to deliver this. That is why this Government is reforming our healthcare system,” Associate Health Minister (Māori) Peeni Henare said.

“The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill enshrines the Māori Health Authority as an equal partner at the heart of the new health system, empowering it to co-commission and plan services across the system in conjunction with HNZ, commission its own kaupapa Māori services, and monitor the performance of the health system for Māori.

“In addition to the MHA, Iwi Māori Partnership Boards will ensure that the voice of whānau is heard and helps shape health services delivered locally, so that they better reflect those who need and use them.

“I am proud that Māori voices and hauora expertise will be reflected at every level of our new health system, improving outcomes for Māori and non-Māori across Aotearoa,” Mr Henare said.

“The Labour Government promised in our 2020 manifesto to undertake a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger public health system for all New Zealanders, and the passing of this bill shows we are doing that,” Minister Little said.  

“We have already backed the system with multi-year budgets and the funding needed to get on with the job. Now we’re removing the structural challenges so resources can be used more effectively, IT systems can be better connected to streamline care, and patients can get treatment sooner to prevent small issues becoming bigger problems.

“New Zealanders value the amazing work of our health system, but we know we can make it better for patients and healthcare workers – that’s why we’re changing it,” he said.

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