Government’s new health indicators fail to indicate

The recently revealed new health indicators framework was promoted as a key transformational feature of the Labour government’s health system restructuring announced by Minister of Health Andrew Little last April. But for indicators to be indicators they have to indicate what is important to the health system. The myth of National’s health targets These indicatorsContinue reading “Government’s new health indicators fail to indicate”

Media muddle muffles Canterbury DHB’s deficit importance

On 30 August the Press (part of the Stuff stable) published an article under the eye-catching headline ‘Cash-strapped health board’s operational deficit ballooning despite ambitious savings plan’: The headline made the article a must-read. It certainly read well but there was one ever so slight problem with it; it was factually wrong. The focus wasContinue reading “Media muddle muffles Canterbury DHB’s deficit importance”

Bad politics are a virus’s best friend

One thing the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted is the importance of political decision-making. The adoption of successful elimination strategies to combat community transmission has occurred where governments, such as New Zealand’s, have accepted the advice of mainstream epidemiologists, infectious diseases specialists and other experts. Governments that have gone for mitigation have done so through aContinue reading “Bad politics are a virus’s best friend”

If patient co-payments were removed from general practices

It is only a matter of time before a government, whether Labour or National-led, accepts that patient co-payments for general practice visits are a major barrier for access to primary care. Steps in this direction began in the late 1990s under a barely remembered associate health minister, Neil Kirton, with free care for those underContinue reading “If patient co-payments were removed from general practices”

The Third Coming of Lester Levy – a process glued together by hypocrisy: Part Two

The first and second comings of Dr Lester Levy were discussed in Part One of this two-part blog series: The purpose of this blog series is to discuss how divergent agendas and personalities can come together in a manner that impacts on a health system including its leadership culture. In this case it wasContinue reading “The Third Coming of Lester Levy – a process glued together by hypocrisy: Part Two”

The luck and comings of Lester Levy: Part One

Newsroom’s David Williams has developed a well-earned reputation as a quality investigative journalist, including on health system issues such as the political hatchet job by government on the senior management team of Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB). Williams has continued this investigative work with a penetrating article (16 August): His article commences with a recentContinue reading “The luck and comings of Lester Levy: Part One”

Government’s response to New Zealand’s Delta threat is the right response

The Government is right in its response to New Zealand’s (Aotearoa) community transmission case of the highly contagious Delta Covid-19 variant. Yesterday, within a few hours of the discovery, It moved fast to an initial hard seven lockdown in the risk area (Auckland and Coromandel) and three days for the rest of the country. AContinue reading “Government’s response to New Zealand’s Delta threat is the right response”

The meaning of elimination of Covid-19

Critical to the success of New Zealand’s elimination strategy of Covid-19 community transmission has been the quality of expert advice of the country’s epidemiologists. They haven’t been the only medical specialists or other scientists to provide this expert advice but they have been at the forefront. Before Covid-19 emerged as a pandemic many New ZealandersContinue reading “The meaning of elimination of Covid-19”

Health Minister behaves badly towards nurses

Arguably Minister of Health Andrew Little is the MP in the New Zealand Parliament with the greatest experience and knowledge of collective bargaining between employers and unions. For several years he was an effective leader of the Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union, the largest union in the private sector. In 2005 he initiated one ofContinue reading “Health Minister behaves badly towards nurses”

Restructuring primary health when you haven’t got a clue

Minister of Health Andrew Little’s White Paper on the Government’s ‘health reforms’, announced in April, included the unexpected intention to abol­ish New Zealand’s district health boards (DHBs), effective 1 July 2022. DHBs are unsurprisingly largely associated in people’s minds with hospitals. Some would argue that this makes the health system hospital-centric. Not so. Hospitals attachContinue reading “Restructuring primary health when you haven’t got a clue”