The truth we should all know about New Zealand’s health care system
What sort of shape is our health system in? Is it the third world’s cast-off that some commentators would have us believe, or is it a model of success?
Sick of hearing from disgruntled patients, media reports and self-serving politicians, I decided to carry out my own independent study of the health system to get to the bottom of it. The results surprised me. Our local health system scrubbed up surprisingly well globally, but it’s clear that there is a substantial mismatch between the public’s expectations and what the health system actually delivers. Some hard calls need to be made.
In 2009 I published Health Cheque, the truth we should all know about NZ’s public health system. We had a huge response to this publication and obviously touched a few nerves. Due to the feedback of Health Cheque my colleague Geoff Simmons and I have recently published a follow up; A Prescription for Change.
Health Cheque looked inside the issues of our public health system but A Prescription for Change takes us a step further and explores the changes that need to be made to improve our current system.
- In seeking clarity on what makes our health sector tick and where its future lies we conducted a series of interviews with health professionals operating within our system. We wanted to get their perspectives of the positives and negatives of the system as it currently stands and consider their suggestions for improvement.
Theses interviews were a humbling experience. New Zealand has many impressive, dedicated people working in its health system who have well-formed thoughtful opinions. Feedback from those who spend their days in the system has proved invaluable in getting to grips with what the major issues are – whether they are doctors, nurses, administrators or academics.
The attached is a summary of our notes from these interviews. They have been anonymised, an important consideration in getting full and frank responses from interviewees.
Open the PDF and read the findings of our interviews.
- Our work on Health Cheque was sponsored by the Morgan Foundation, which is endowed with some of the proceeds from the 2006 sale of ‘Trade Me’, the New Zealand internet auction site. One of the aims of the Foundation is to provide independent, plain English information to the public on important, topical issues.
Through Health Cheque we found that our system does well internationally despite our low incomes and constant restructuring, and this is primarily due to our hard working health workforce. In honor of these hard working Health Soprofessionals we (do we want to say I or we here?) ran a competition to find New Zealand’s hardest working nurse, and the Morgan Foundation gave the winner (Stephanie Beddis) $10,000 to donate to a health charity of her choice.
As part of our role we are happy to present our ideas in public seminars in order to get people discussing the issues. Simply contact us on the email below.
Any queries or comments, email Geoff@gmi.co.nz
- Health Cheque looked inside the issues of our public health system but A Prescription for Change takes us a step further and explores the changes that need to be made to improve our current system.
Prescription for change is available for FREE – Click here to Download