The New Zealand Health Strategy Published

The Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health, has launched New Zealand's new Health Strategy.  The New Zealand Health Strategy sets the direction of health services to improve the health of people and communities.

The 2016 New Zealand Health Strategy refreshes the previous strategy, developed in 2000. It was developed with the help of sector leaders, independent reports, extensive public consultation, and was informed by other government programmes and initiatives.

The Strategy has two parts.

  • New Zealand Health Strategy: Future direction
  • New Zealand Health Strategy: Roadmap of actions 2016

Future direction

The New Zealand Health Strategy: Future direction outlines the high level direction for New Zealand’s health system over the 10 years from 2016 to 2026. It lays out some of the challenges and opportunities the system faces; describes the future, including the culture and values that will underpin this future; and identifies five strategic themes for the changes:

New Zealand Health Strategy: Five strategic themes

People-powered At the heart of the updated Strategy are health care users, their families/whānau, and their networks of carers and supporters. We want all New Zealanders to have the information and support they need to manage their own health and wellbeing. We also want the health system to truly understand the people it serves and involve them in service design. This will mean more joined up data and analysis within the health system and across social services and improved health literacy for all.

Closer to home We want health care services delivered closer to where people live, work and play and for health and social services to be better integrated. The emphasis is on investing early in life, maintaining wellness through preventing illness and providing early interventions, and ensuring high quality care for people at the end of their lives.

Value and high performance So people are always the central focus of our health system, we need to ensure best value use of our workforce, financial investments and other resources. This is about aligning performance measures and incentives with people-centred results and making every dollar count.

One team To achieve the aims and objectives of the updated Strategy we will all need to work better together. Part of this requires a mindset change to ensure our health system and wider social sector work towards a common purpose. It also means creating and maintaining a well equipped and agile workforce that is supported by strong leaders at all levels.

Smart system We need a smart system that utilises existing and emerging technologies to deliver better results for everyone. In addition to ensuring health professionals and health care users having accurate, accessible and reliable information, this is about adopting technology, innovations and ideas to revolutionise the ways we work and experience health care.

To read Future Direction, you can:

Roadmap of actions 2016

The New Zealand Health Strategy: Roadmap of actions 2016 identifies 27 areas for action over five years to make the Strategy happen. The actions are organised under the five themes of the Strategy. This roadmap will be updated over the 10-year lifetime of the Strategy.

To read the Roadmap of actions 2016, you can:

In his speech Dr Coleman said “The new Strategy has been developed to guide change in the health sector and to lead the transformation to a more innovative, integrated and patient-centred approach to healthcare in New Zealand.”

The Health Strategy has not been updated since 2000. The new Strategy sets a clear direction for the health system over the next 10 years.

It covers five strategic themes - people-powered, closer to home, value and high performance, one team, and smart system. It includes a roadmap of actions to put the Strategy in place over the next five years.

“We need a unified health system with shared values. We need better ways of working together to ensure all New Zealanders have access to the healthcare they need,” says Dr Coleman.

“We want to see more services delivered in the community, a stronger push on prevention and self-management, as well as care closer to home.

“This new Strategy will ensure better integration of health and social services, a health workforce that’s well equipped and supported by strong leaders and networks, more involvement in service design by users, and a system well placed to take advantage of emerging technologies.”

The Ministry of Health led the update of the Strategy and engaged extensively with the sector, social service providers and health users over the last year.

“A range of people and organisations have contributed to developing this Strategy. Their feedback added significant value and shows people want to play an active role in creating our future health system,” says Dr Coleman.

To support the Strategy’s implementation, the Ministry of Health is currently reorganising the way it operates.

“We need a strengthened and streamlined Ministry, which is empowered to lead the health system. This reorganisation will ensure clearer roles and accountabilities, and reduce duplication,” says Dr Coleman.

The Powering Up Our Future Health Symposium is being hosted by the Ministry of Health. Senior health and social sector leaders will discuss how New Zealand can build a modern people-powered, technology-enabled healthcare system.

Launch of NZ Health Strategy, Powering Up Our Future Health Symposium, Wellington