Matthew Wood 2008
The purpose of this paper is to identify the funding and prioritisation models used by District Health Boards (DHBs) to guide resource allocation for public health and the health sector.
The health spending budgeted for the year 2006 - 2007 has reached $10.64 billion, this is an 8.51% increase on vote Health spending for the year 2005 - 2006 which was $9.68 billion (Ministry of Health, 2007). This is set to increase further. With an aging population the pressure on health services and on health resources is predicted to increase. Given the current increases in funding and the forecast pressures on the health system it is important to gain an understanding of how rationing and prioritisation is occurring within the planning and funding of health services of District Health Boards.
The benefits from this research through the identification of prioritisation methods used by DHBs will enable DHBs to compare and assess their prioritisation methods and assist them in making decisions about health resources.
From the information supplied by the seven participating DHBs, only two of them seem to have a robust process. There are a variety of criteria and process that probably reflect the local situations of DHBs. However, there was only limited consistency with the Ministry of Health/ DHBNZ recommended prioritisation criteria. Most of the DHBs seem to recognise equity and Maori health as important, however there did not appear to be much robust assessment of value for money.