New Health Minister Andrew Little promises to fast-track reforms of the health sector

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The new Health Minister is promising to fast track reforms of the health sector within the next 18 months to two years.

Andrew Little made his comments to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists’ annual conference in Wellington this morning.

Little told the crowd of up to about 200 people New Zealand has a complex health system that needs to become more sustainable.

He referenced the Heather Simpson report into the sector which proposed fewer DHBs.

He said some changes should be implemented much faster than the proposed five years.

“I think that is too long to make changes to a system that is crying out for change now,” he said.

Little said some things could be done much faster.

“In my view, we should take 18 months to two years to make the foundational changes that we need to make – some of those structural changes – so that the work of establishing processes and practices and culture can then begin,” he said.

Association president professor Murray Barclay said that may concern some members.

“In our view that type of major structural change is not a priority and rushing it may unduly add to the pressures which DHBs and clinicians are under.”

“There are more urgent health issues which the government needs to turn its attention to,” he said.

Source: RNZ News – www.rnz.co.nz
Photo: Health Minister Andrew Little. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

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