New Zealand mulls major reforms for health system新西兰考虑对卫生系统进行重大改革


A healthcare worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in preparation for administration to vaccinators in Auckland, New Zealand, Feb 19, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

WELLINGTON - Putting a greater emphasis on primary healthcare and ensuring fairer access for all New Zealanders are two of the main drivers of health sector reforms, Health Minister Andrew Little said on Wednesday.

"We are going to put the emphasis squarely on primary and community healthcare and will do away with duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy between regions, so that our health workers can do what they do best - keep people well," Little said in a statement.

The reforms will mean that for the first time, New Zealand will have a truly national health system, and the kind of treatment people get will no longer be determined by where they live, he said.

The reforms will see all 20 district health boards replaced with a new national entity, Health New Zealand, which will be responsible for running hospitals and commissioning primary and community health services. It will have four regional divisions, the minister said.

Responsibility for public health issues will rest with a new Public Health Authority, and a new Maori Health Authority will monitor the state of Maori health and have the ability to commission services directly, he said.

The system will be overseen by a strengthened Ministry of Health, which will also advise the government on policy matters, he added.

The changes are in response to the Health and Disability System Review (HDSR), which found the public health system was under stress and that a greater emphasis on primary healthcare had the greatest potential to improve New Zealanders' health.

"The reforms herald a change in focus for the health system - we will treat people before they get sick so they don't need to go to hospital, thereby taking the pressure off hospitals," Little said.

"We all know how stretched our hospitals and specialist services are, and that's largely because people are not getting the healthcare they need, when they need it, to stop them becoming seriously unwell," he said.

The reforms will also ensure the system is able to cope with the effects of an aging population and respond more quickly to public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

The reforms will be phased in over three years to make sure existing services - including the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program - are not disrupted, according to the minister.

卫生部长安德鲁·利特尔周三表示,更加重视初级卫生保健和确保所有新西兰人获得更公平的医疗服务是卫生部门改革的两个主要驱动力。

利特尔在一份声明中说:“我们将把重点直接放在初级和社区卫生保健上,并将消除地区之间的重复和不必要的官僚主义,这样我们的卫生工作者就可以做他们最擅长的事情——让人们过得好。”

他说,改革将意味着新西兰将首次拥有一个真正的国家卫生系统,人们获得的治疗将不再取决于他们住在哪里。

改革将使所有20个区卫生委员会被一个新的国家实体新西兰卫生部取代,该实体将负责管理医院和委托初级和社区卫生服务。部长说,它将有四个地区分部。

他说,新的公共卫生管理局将负责公共卫生问题,新的毛利人卫生管理局将监测毛利人的健康状况,并有能力直接委托他人提供服务。

他补充说,该系统将由一个强化的卫生部监督,卫生部还将在政策问题上向政府提供建议。

这些变化是对健康和残疾系统审查(HDSR)的回应,该审查发现公共卫生系统面临压力,更加重视初级保健最有可能改善新西兰人的健康。

“改革预示着卫生系统的重点发生了变化——我们将在人们生病之前对他们进行治疗,这样他们就不需要去医院,从而减轻医院的压力,”利特尔说。

“我们都知道我们的医院和专家服务有多紧张,这在很大程度上是因为人们没有得到他们需要的医疗保健,当他们需要的时候,以阻止他们变得严重不适,”他说。

他补充说,改革还将确保该系统能够应对人口老龄化的影响,并更快地应对新冠肺炎大流行等公共卫生危机。

部长说,改革将在三年内分阶段进行,以确保现有的服务,包括新冠肺炎疫苗接种计划的推出,不会中断。


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