Developing the New Zealand Health Plan – by elitist desktop analysis?

One of the most important features of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022, which came into force on 1 July, is the requirement to produce a statutory document called the New Zealand Health Plan. The Plan is important in that it will state what, where and how healthcare services will be provided in theContinue reading “Developing the New Zealand Health Plan – by elitist desktop analysis?”

Colossal ‘porkies’ and band-aids don’t’ make a health workforce plan

On 1 August Minister of Health Andrew Little announced what he described as the start of a plan for the beleaguered workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system: Government’s 5 year late health workforce announcement. In October 2017, when Labour became government with its two coalition parties, it inherited a health workforce crisis from theContinue reading “Colossal ‘porkies’ and band-aids don’t’ make a health workforce plan”

Masks in schools a potential circuit-breaker; but wider strategy and hope also required

On 22 July it was reported by Stuff that Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti had made an important decision on masks in schools. It is a good decision but still short of what is required to reduce the reproduction rate of Omicron variant of Covid-19 to less than one which is what is required toContinue reading “Masks in schools a potential circuit-breaker; but wider strategy and hope also required”

What happens when a health minister loses workforce trust and confidence

On 4 July Stuff published my opinion piece on the angry behaviour of Minister of Health Andrew Little in publicly disparaging dedicated people and organisations strongly committed to the provision of accessible quality healthcare: Health Minister’s angry behaviour denying the obvious. I referred to his derogatory comments on the “nominal leaders” of primary care (essentially generalContinue reading “What happens when a health minister loses workforce trust and confidence”

Health system now “beyond a crisis”

Perhaps Minister of Health Andrew Little is right to deny the existence of a crisis in Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system. However, to the extent that he is right, it is accidental. It is not because there was never a crisis or it has been mitigated enough to no longer warrant this descriptor. Instead, itContinue reading “Health system now “beyond a crisis””

Lazarus, relevance and the NZMA

When word of the New Zealand Medical Association’s intention to fold and liquidate hit the media, the most common reaction was one of sadness. Despite having been critical of the NZMA and not being a doctor, I felt sad too. For me, it represented the loss of the only pan-professional medical association in Aotearoa NewContinue reading “Lazarus, relevance and the NZMA”

Train wrecks and election outcomes

On 19 June the Sunday Star Times published my column on the relationship between the Labour government’s stewardship of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system and the outcome of the next general election expected to be around September-October 2023: Is the health system an electoral sword of Damocles for Labour. Deteriorating workforce crisis is a healthContinue reading “Train wrecks and election outcomes”

Exploitation, inequities and the Māori Health Authority

On 15 June BusinessDesk published my article on the Māori Health Authority  (MHA – Te Mana Hauora Māori): Māori Health Authority a good call but not a magic bullet. I argued that establishing the Authority, on 1 July, as a separate government entity with significant decision-making powers and influence was a good political call providing thatContinue reading “Exploitation, inequities and the Māori Health Authority”

Epiphanies and health system improvement

Decades ago, when an impressionable young student at Victoria University, I participated in a student association meeting to debate a resolution that the two chaplains rooms (Anglican and Catholic) be removed from the student union building. With such a topic it was no surprise that the turnout was high and the debate passionate. It wasContinue reading “Epiphanies and health system improvement”

The not-‘seize the time’ health budget

In the lead-up to finance minister Grant Robertson’s fifth Budget, the messaging was that health, along with climate change, would be the big winner. Robertson and his colleagues were briming with confidence that this would be seen to be so. Such was the associated hype that it called to mind a slogan popularised in theContinue reading “The not-‘seize the time’ health budget”