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75 years on—the future of the New Zealand health system

Clocktower clock

Monday 23 September 2013 8:16am

What is the future of New Zealand health’s system, and how can it meet the needs of the public in the 21st century?

These and other major systemic issues facing the public health system will be addressed at a 75th anniversary conference to be held at Middlemore Hospital, South Auckland, on Tuesday September 24.

The conference is being co-hosted by the University of Otago’s Centre for Health Systems and the School of Government at Victoria University, in association with Ko Awatea, the Centre for Health System Innovation and Improvement at Middlemore Hospital.

Conference co-ordinator and director of the Centre for Health Systems, Professor Robin Gauld, says this is a significant meeting as it will address the future of the health system in this country.

robin-gauldProfessor Robin Gauld

The conference will examine the founding principles and how well they have survived since its establishment under the Social Security Act in September 1938 under the first Labour Government. This was ten years before the National Health Service in the UK, and one of the first universal public health systems in the world.

“This 75th anniversary conference will look at how significant pressures facing the health system can be managed in future so it can continue to care for all New Zealanders,” says Professor Gauld.

“The conference will be asking whether the 1938 principles for health system design, promoted internationally today by agencies such as the World Health Organisation, should be a goal for New Zealand, given that we have deviated somewhat from these over the years. It’ll examine solutions to present and future health and social care needs.”

The conference addresses whether the original principles of New Zealand health care as a fundamental right are still relevant; how access to universally available services, a focus on preventative healthcare, and the integration of services can be maintained in the 21st century.

A wide range of local and international speakers have been invited to canvas the future of the NZ health system, and how it compares to other publicly funded systems in the developed world.

They include special guest speaker, Sir Muir Gray, director of the National Knowledge Service and chief knowledge officer at the National Health Service in the UK; Maureen Bisognano, chief executive of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston; and Cathy Schoen, Vice-President at the Commonwealth Fund, New York.

Registration and the full programme for this major conference on the future of the NZ health system can be found below.

For further information contact:

Professor Robin Gauld
Centre for Health Systems
University of Otago
Mob 64 29 777 3131

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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