To transform a health system, key pieces of work are needed to guide and drive the way the system works, such as Government policies, strategies and agreements. This means that when it comes to health services, what you need will matter more than where you live.
The Pae Ora – Healthy Futures Act 2022 was passed in June 2022, ensuring the legislation was in place to establish Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority, and disestablish the District Health Boards.
Making the intentions of the Act real starts with the interim Government Policy Statement for Health (external link)(iGPS). This explains the Government’s strategy, priorities and expectations of the health system over the next two years.
Importantly, the public can hold the Government to account against this promise.
The interim Government Policy Statement for the two-year transition period sets out early priorities for service and outcomes for the overall reforms.
Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority respond to the iGPS, explaining how they will turn the Government’s expectations into action. Their response is the interim New Zealand Health Plan.
The interim New Zealand Health Plan sets out how the health system will deliver health services while we are transforming how New Zealanders are supported to achieve and maintain their best possible health and wellbeing.
This two-year plan is focused on the transition period and will be replaced by New Zealand’s first-ever national Health Plan in 2024.
The Health Plan is about making things better for whānau and ensuring the right change happens in the health system. It sets out what Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority will do over the next two years to develop a health system that is simplified, unified and responds to the needs of all New Zealanders, especially those who have been disadvantaged in the past.
In the interim Health Plan Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority aim to address health service inequities and improve the experience of care that people receive, while establishing the entities. The Plan also implements the Government’s Budget 2022 initiatives and will accelerate commitments from previous years that are in progress. They commit to:
While these two building blocks, the interim Government Policy Statement and the interim New Zealand Health Plan set out what will be done, the New Zealand Health Charter is a key building block that clarifies how things will be done.
The Charter is a statement of the values, principles and behaviours that are expected throughout the health sector, at both an organisational level and individually.
The Health Charter supports a shift in workforce culture and will guide the health sector through shared culture, values, expectations, and ways of working collaboratively to help positive improvement over time.
Other key building blocks for the new health system include: