A new era in healthcare begins

A new era in healthcare begins on 1 July, when Hauora Tairāwhiti becomes Health New Zealand.

As part of the Government’s changes to health services, all District Health Boards across the country become one united entity with over 80,000 employees.

For our community, there won’t be any changes to health services or appointments. If care or help is required from health professionals from 1 July, people should keep going to the places where they would usually get care, whether it’s a GP or specialist appointment in hospital. Care and delivery will continue. 

The aim of transforming the health system is to create a more equitable, accessible, cohesive and people-centred system that will improve the health and wellbeing of all people of Aotearoa.

For the last 21 years, the Tairāwhiti District Health Board (changed to Hauora Tairāwhiti in 2017) has been responsible for the planning, funding and provision of health and disability services for its people.

The Hauora Tairāwhiti Board will hold its last ever meeting at 9am on Tuesday 28 June, a moment Chair Kim Ngarimu says will be a sentimental moment for all.

“Our greatest strength is our skilled and dedicated workforce, across the whole sector, who will continue to care for our communities in our future health system.

“The Board is grateful and thanks everyone who has made the work of our District Health Board possible over the 21 years. So much has been achieved, especially in working to improve health outcomes for Māori.  We especially acknowledge the important role that our iwi and other community health providers play in supporting and advancing the health of our people in Tairāwhiti. ”

“We have laid down a solid base for the future and place the wero (challenge) for our successors at the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand.  We also warmly welcome the new Iwi Partnership Board, which will have a direct advisory, performance monitoring and service design role with both Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority. ”

All staff have been guaranteed their jobs throughout the change, with the exception of the Chief Executives of the 20 DHBs, who have been offered a 90 day fixed-term contract to assist with the transition.

Under the new system, the country has been split into four health regions and Tairāwhiti will continue as part of Te Manawa Taki which includes Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Taranaki and Waikato.

Hauora Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Jim Green has been chief executive of the health board for 21 years and says there is much to look forward to with the changes.

“Over the course of the last decade, our health system has become increasingly complex. There are now a number of organisations and functions split across national, regional and district entities, including DHBs, Primary Health Organisations, Public Health Units, shared services agencies, and other actors.

“Although we’ve achieved great things for local people during this period, this growing complexity has driven inefficiencies and it’s time for another era to begin.”

“I’d like to acknowledge all staff, board members, advisory committees, the people who have received care and the community who have been a part of this waka in the past 21 years.  We should be extremely proud of what we’ve achieved together and the health outcomes we’ve made possible for Tairāwhiti people. We now fully embrace the opportunities the new system will bring.”

For more information on the reforms, see ww.hnz.govt.nz or www.mha.govt.nz.

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