Ahead of July 1, we wanted to jointly update working media on key FAQs you may have around the health system change. All health agencies are committed to ensuring a smooth transition, both for the system and for the media.
What are the agencies respective roles going to be?
- Manatū Hauora – the Ministry of Health (MoH) is the chief advisor to the Minister of Health and continues to support the delivery of high-quality health services by advising the Government on funding and system settings and developing the policy and laws needed. It will focus on strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring the outcomes achieved by the system as a whole and will host the Public Health Agency, which will be responsible for public health policy, strategy, monitoring and intelligence.
- Health New Zealand (HNZ) leads the day-to-day running of the health system and unites the 20 District Health Boards, shared services agencies and Te Hiringa Hauora under one national organisation. It leads and coordinates delivery of health services, coordinating efforts across the motu, including hospital and specialist services, the new National Public Health Service, clinical governance, and community services including primary and community care.
- The Māori Health Authority (MHA), working in partnership with Manatū Hauora and Health New Zealand, is responsible for ensuring the health system delivers equitable outcomes for Māori. It has been set up as an independent statutory authority to drive improvement in hauora Māori.
Who do we approach about what?
Ministry of Health
- From July 1, the Ministry of Health will provide leadership across the health system and government in relation to health and wellbeing.
- It will focus on strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring the performance of, and health outcomes achieved by, the new health system to make sure its delivering the best health services to New Zealanders.
- This will be done with a focus on equitable health outcomes and meeting Te Tiriti o Waitangi responsibilities.
- Hosting the Public Health Agency, it will be responsible for public health policy, strategy, monitoring and intelligence.
- Some of the functions the Ministry was previously responsible for have been transferred, such as the National Immunisation Programme, the Health Infrastructure Unit, the COVID-19 response.
Health New Zealand
- Health New Zealand will manage the health system day-to-day; plan and commission services for the whole population via four regional divisions.
- It will pick up national operational level questions about the system, including the district and the new localities approach.
- As an example, service delivery questions, which have previously sat with the Ministry, should be directed to HNZ in the first instance.
- The National Public Health Service within HNZ will be responsible for population health, including the management of outbreaks and pandemics, health promotion, health prevention and health protection
- Vaccination/immunisation and COVID-19 health response queries will also now sit with HNZ.
- District queries (formerly at a DHB level) should still be directed to local media teams.
The Māori Health Authority
The Māori Health Authority will be responsible for ensuring the health system provides more equitable outcomes for Māori.
- It has specific responsibilities in the new integrated health system, including planning and funding services designed specifically for Māori (such as kaupapa Māori services), and monitoring the performance of the entire health system to improve equity.
- It will work with the Ministry of Health on strategy and policy issues of particular relevance to Māori, ensuring the Crown’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi continues to underpin approaches to hauora.
- It will work in partnership with Health New Zealand to plan and co-commission services, ensuring service design and priorities reflect the needs of Māori and of all New Zealand’s diverse communities.
- It will be responsible for ensuring the needs, interests, and aspirations of Māori communities are at the heart of the new health system, including through the new Iwi Māori Partnership Boards.
Ministry for Disabled People
The reforms of the Health system have provided an opportunity to review the current arrangements for working with, and supporting, the one in four New Zealanders who identify as disabled. There’s more information here on the new Ministry for Disabled People.
The agencies will be able to talk you through where to direct questions around specific subject matter areas.
How do you contact us?
As they are already, the agencies will actively work together to ensure media queries are responded to. We recognise that some media queries may sit across multiple agencies and we will work hard to ensure they find the right landing place.
Will there still be district level communications contacts?
- Yes, established district communications contacts will continue to be your point of contact for local queries from July 1.
- There may be some system level queries which sit more broadly with HNZ and are referred on by the district contacts.
- You will also notice that HNZ media advisors, including those at district level, continue to work from established email addresses. This will continue as the IT systems are integrated nationally. If you already have established relationships with local media advisors, those email addresses will continue to work.
There will be further updates later this week around formal media advisories for events related to July 1.
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