Response to Health Changes

Well almost the entire sector seem to be united behind the changes announced by . This degree of unanimity is very rare. In fact I think the last time it happened was in the early 90s when the Young Nats proposed selling off all 23 CHEs to the private sector (on the basis of there being a funder/provider split, and ownership of providers did not matter), and we got condemned by every health group and political party there was – including National’s own Minister and Under-Secretary 🙂

Getting widespread support in favour, rather than against, what you are doing is harder but here is reaction yesterday:


The New Zealand Medical Association () today welcomed the announcement by the Government of substantial changes to the health system.

“It makes great sense to rationalise the backroom services of the District Health Boards (DHBs) and to provide much greater coordination of national services and we support the decision to place the National Health Board within the Ministry of Health,” said NZMA Chair Dr Peter Foley.


The New Zealand Nurses Organisation () supports announcements made today by the Minister of Health, Hon Tony Ryall, which will see greater collaboration in health across New Zealand’s 21 District Health Boards (DHBs).

“We are pleased that the Government and the Minister have taken heed of the submissions made in response to the Ministerial Review Group report ‘Meeting the Challenge’. We welcome any additional resources to workers at the front line of the health service,” said NZNO President Nano Tunnicliff.

“The changes signalled are a sensible continuation towards a more nationally integrated health service,” Tunnicliff said.


“We are chuffed that the government has listened to advice from us and others on the health proposed by the Ministerial Review Group (Horn Report),” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“The Horn Report recommended creating a new bureaucracy, the National Health Board, as a separate, less accountable crown entity, in addition to the Ministry of Health. This would have involved major restructuring, and risked increasing bureaucratic wastage and generating paralysis in decision-making. We supported the functions proposed for the National Health Board but not the recommended structure.”

“We have worked hard lobbying government not to go down this path. Instead we recommended that the functions be allocated to a specific enhanced unit within the Ministry of Health. This is exactly what Health Minister has announced today and we are delighted. It is a relatively novel experience of a government listening to us in such a specific way.

And even the Health Cuts Hurt lobby group:

“Health Cuts Hurt supports the principles behind the Government’s decisions about the public health system announced today but is concerned that the devil is in the so far undelivered detail,”

“How can you oppose more consolidation of the administrative functions like purchasing in bulk and more regional cooperation in service delivery along with returning savings from these things into more operations or hospital beds,” said Heather Carter.

Oh I am sure Labour can, if they try hard enough 🙂


Efficiency gains expected as a result of changes to the public health system announced by the Government today have been welcomed by the Health Funds Association (HFANZ).

Tony Ryall really is doing well with what is traditionally a very dangerous portfolio. If only, the same could be said across the entire Government!

Comments (21)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment

%d bloggers like this: