Most of the health care spend in New Zealand ($16.78 billion in 2017/18) comes for tax channelled through 20 geographically distributed District Health Boards (DHBs), which are responsible for planning, delivering and funding services in their districts.
Mental health issues (including suicide), cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions, dementia, injuries and oral health are New Zealand’s main health concerns. They have common underlying risk factors, including smoking, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and abuse of alcohol and drugs, alongside occupational risks.
Insurance and hospital care
- Private insurance to be 50% tax-deductible.
- Private/Public partnerships to set up surgical units to deal more quickly with acute cases in a timelier manner with competition to help drive down costs.
- Pharmac to be more aggressive in ensuring New Zealanders get not only the latest and best treatments but at the best price possible.
- Investing in preventative health measures to find cost-effective ways of reducing future fiscal pressures.
- Greater use of electronic patient health records to facilitate greater co-ordination amongst health care providers in dealing with patients to improve care and efficiency.
- Government must facilitate and/or fund community aged care to ensure older Kiwis are helped to live healthy lives at home.
- Impact of all aged health-care options to be monitored for best practice.
- Introduction of an independent industry led monitoring, with public accessibility of information, on aged healthcare providers. This will be used for assessment of ongoing contracts, licensing, and accessing taxpayer subsidies if applicable.
- Capacity to support end-of-life palliative care must be built into the aged care sector.
- Workforce strategy focussed on staff training, ratios, remuneration and holistic care to ensure best practice.
- Promote healthy eating in schools through integrating horticulture with cooking classes and biology at primary level. That is, teach children to grow food, harvest food, cook food with the consequences of their food/health choices.
- Offering wider choices of physical activities in Primary schools that are also educational such as Walking tours of Gardens to learn about plants; Farm visits; etc. The point is to subsume physical activity within educational outcomes.
- Increased investment in prevention through programs targeted in high risk groups, individuals, schools and communities.
- Easier access to early prevention services.
- Reducing the use of the Mental Health Act to minimise our current high use of compulsory treatment for individuals experiencing mental illness, which removes individuals’ rights to decide on their own medical treatment and creates reluctance to seek timely treatment.
New and improved sex classes that:
- Provide ethical guidance/education in conjunction with parental authority.
- Give accurate effectiveness of types of contraceptives that consider user error
- Abortion rights, if there are to be changes, to be determined by referendum. MP’s do not have the high moral ground to decide on behalf of New Zealanders. It is a highly personal decision that must be left to the public to decide.
- Cheaper and easier access to reliable types of contraception.