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Projects Unveiled to Reinvent New Zealand’s Healthcare Sector

The pandemic has had a significant impact on healthcare systems’ ability to continue providing essential health services. While health systems around the world face increased demand for COVID-19 patient care, it is critical to maintaining preventive and curative services, particularly for the most vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, people living with chronic conditions, minorities, and people with disabilities.

Countries must strike an optimal balance between combating the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining essential health services. The WHO organisation has been coordinating efforts across several regions and departments to assist countries in implementing targeted actions to reorganise and sustain access to safe and high-quality essential health services throughout the life course.

The coronavirus pandemic has also brought to light flaws in the current system. While New Zealand’s response to Covid-19 has been lauded internationally, there were concerns in the country that the country’s fragmented health system and associated bureaucracy would impede the rollout of mass testing, mass vaccinations, or the distribution of resources to care for Covid patients.

New Zealand’s healthcare reform has disclosed a system to ensure more equitable healthcare for all New Zealanders. The country’s 20 district health boards will be disbanded and replaced by a new national system that will place a greater emphasis on primary healthcare, end the postcode lottery system of health services, and reduce bureaucracy so that healthcare workers can focus on patients.

The health minister unveiled a framework for Health System Indicators to supplement the reforms. This framework will assist the sector is focusing on the areas that require the most improvement, particularly in the Mori and Pacific zones of New Zealand.

“The indicators are a new way of thinking. They are not about incentivising with funding or pointing the finger if targets are not met. They are a measure of how well our health system is functioning across the country, and an opportunity to then create local solutions to address local health needs” Andrew Little explained.

The indicators are based on the Government’s six priorities for health which are:

  • Improving child wellbeing
  • improving mental wellbeing
  • Improving wellbeing through preventative measures
  • Creating a strong and equitable public health system
  • Better primary healthcare
  • The financially sustainable health system

Indicators have been developed, and progress toward meeting them will be reported publicly every three months. When the indicators imply a problem, health services will collaborate with local communities to devise effective solutions. The indicators are intended to replace the ineffective and outmoded National Health Targets regime.

OpenGov Asia reported that investment in digital technology research for issues such as disease monitoring should be a top priority for Aotearoa. The covid pandemic has called into question how public decision-makers handle a health crisis, and he has stated that New Zealand Health IT fully supports today’s government announcement of the latest funding for health research through the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

The council is responsible for managing the government’s investment in health research. “Digital health represents an opportunity for significant improvements in healthcare to deliver better health and enable more efficient and accessible service delivery models,” He then added

It has also been stated that research into health data science is an important tool for improving care systems and developing new products. Digital tool research in the health sector will also provide health consumers with new ways to improve their overall health and well-being. “We know digital health technologies will strengthen health systems and help meet the increasing demand for healthcare services.” New Zealand needs to buy into digital tools for managing health crises, such as the covid pandemic.

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