May, 2021 - By WMR
Twenty district boards to be combined into one national service 'Health New Zealand' over the course of three years.
Like the healthcare system revered in the UK, New Zealand too has announced to combine its splintered system into one national healthcare service. Health Minister Mr. Andrew Little on Wednesday stated that a single body named Health New Zealand would replace the current district boards. He also assured that the government would focus more on public health along with necessary precautions so that people won't land in hospitals.
The current government run system in New Zealand is divided into 20 district boards, each with an individual budget. “Our system has become overly complex. It is far too complicated for a small nation,” Little mentioned. “We simply do not need 20 different sets of decision-makers.” He said that this task is to be done over the course of three years. The overhaul and its extent was indeed a surprise for many as it went way beyond review panel's recommendations. This restructure also received backlash from the opposition, Dr. Shane Reti a health spokesperson said the overhaul as "reckless" which would see small communities and regions lose their own voices.
This revision also includes a new Indigenous Maori Health Authority. Mr. Peeni Henare, associate Health Minister said that the latest Maori Health Authority will let us have more control for Maori community, who on average suffer poor health than rest of the New Zealanders. Although the health system is subsidized by the government, the patient needs to pay a portion of the amount when going to the doctor. There are also more than one third of the people who choose to pay for additional services offered by private health insurers. This new policy would ensure experts to be in a better position to fight future pandemics of similar kind.