Health reforms must protect community voices

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party is welcoming the final report of the Health and Disability System Review, but cautions that any changes to the DHB system must protect communities’ right to have their say.

Green Party Health Spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today:

“We all deserve a fit-for-purpose health system which works for everyone. This review is a valuable piece of work which puts forward a lot of good ideas which we will now work through.

“However, local democracy is a core value for the Green Party. The proposed replacement of DHB elections with appointed boards must ensure communities can still have a say in health decisions that affect them, if it goes ahead.

“Voter turnout for DHB elections is notoriously low, so we agree that the current system could be improved. It is vital that local voices are heard and that health services match the different needs of different communities.

“Local communities, and the health workers and their unions that serve them, must be fully engaged in the decision making steps following this report.

“Māori health needs have been neglected under our current health system and the Green Party is strongly supportive of tangata whenua having greater tino rangatiratanga over Māori health.

“Our disability system is also in dire need of greater support to ensure people with disabilities can fully participate in society.

“Although the report does not lay out in detail future plans for maternity, the Green Party supports a continuity of care model that ensures our world class maternity system continues to support pregnant people.

“Successive Governments have ignored the structural changes that are needed to improve health outcomes, and we look forward to working with our Government partners on next steps to improve the health system.”

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