Health Minister Andrew Little says the eradication of the 20 district health boards across the country will be beneficial for the regions, especially Māori.
“They’ve become very much interested in their own little areas and, in a country where you can’t always guarantee that your local hospital has the treatment that you’re gonna need, that became difficult and undemocratic.”
“There will be people from Health NZ, who will draw together not only local health providers but also local community representatives, including iwi,” Little says.
The overhaul of the country’s healthcare system has three major components.
- The nation's 22 regional district health boards will be eliminated.
- They will be replaced by a centralised governing body, to be called Health NZ, which will oversee hospitals and medical facilities throughout Aotearoa.
- The government will launch a new Māori health authority, which will provide services but also advise government departments on how to make things more effective for Māori.
Little adds that Health NZ will be making decisions at a localised level.
“In a population of five million people, do we need a set of 20 decision-makers who clutter up that decision making?
"We will have an opportunity here for a much richer representation of communities than we do at the moment," he says.