In the past year, commentary around whether the existing DHB and PHO models are still relevant has increased and the report briefly hints at the minister’s ability to change that structure.
“Considering whether the current institutional arrangements remain fit for purpose could identify opportunities for addressing some of the challenges to the system and building on its strengths.”
The report shows that new funding as a percentage of baseline funding dropped to its lowest point in 17 years under the previous government, down from a peak in 2006/07.
Vote Health, the health system’s main funding, this year is $16.773 billion, up from $12.240 billion in 2008/09.
More than three-quarters of that funding goes to DHBs.
The major causes of poor health in New Zealand are long-term conditions including diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, mental illness and chronic pain.
Health inequities can be addressed through five key areas, the briefing says: mental health and addiction, the health of mothers, babies and young children, primary healthcare, disability support services and home and community support services for older people.
The briefing also emphasises the need to balance distribution of services, investment in hospital developments and alternative systems such as the national electronic health record systems.