One team, many businesses: Supporting delivery of the 2016 New Zealand health strategy

The Primary Health Alliance has today published the latest in its series of discussion papers One team, many businesses: Supporting delivery of the 2016 New Zealand Health Strategy (view here). 

“New Zealand’s current primary care policy and financial framework settings do not support the thousands of individual provider organisations across our health sector to work together in a 'one team', integrated and patient-focused way. The result is dysfunctional competition and a health system that often continues to fail the most vulnerable members of our communities." says Primary Health Alliance chairman, John Ayling.

“The 2016 New Zealand Health Strategy is destined to be a spectacular failure unless we remove the current barriers to service integration which are inherent in our system and give communities more localised decision making.”

The Primary Health Alliance, has worked in partnership with representatives from across the sector in the development of their latest publication and provide a number of recommendations including:

  • A fundamental review of primary health care funding to support equity of access and equity of outcomes, and which must include longer term funding allocations.
  • Locality based decision making across funding and service arrangements.
  • Consideration be given for the establishment of sector-wide, inter-disciplinary provider organisations with a single consolidated budget.

The latest publication follows their February 2015 publication A time to act: 7 actions which will help sustain the New Zealand health service for future generations and the December 2015 publication Targeting Resources: Strengthening New Zealand's primary care capitation funding formula. 

Dr Andrew Miller, Northland GP and chair of Manaia Health PHO believes changes need to be made to address New Zealand’s well documented inequalities in health access and outcomes: "It is a shameful fact that, in the 21st century, New Zealand still has such unacceptable inequalities which are an international embarrassment and impact so severely on our most vulnerable and high-need communities. 

"Whilst this publication is about the system barriers to working as ‘one-team’, it is those same issues which have become barriers to equity of access and outcomes.  They must be addressed for us to practice what the Government preaches with regards a patient-focused health system."

The full series of Primary Health Alliance discussion documents are available to download from the Primary Health Alliance website here: www.primaryhealth.org.nz