Sat, 23 Oct 2021

WELLINGTON, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the centralized Health New Zealand and Maori Health Authority, replacing the District Health Boards (DHBs) existing for about 20 years across the country.

The government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This is another step towards fixing the health system so it works for everyone, Health Minister Andrew Little announced on Thursday.

"The future health system will mean New Zealanders will be able to have equitable access to healthcare to live longer, with the best possible quality of life, no matter who they are or where they live," Little said, describing it as "a long overdue transformation".

Health New Zealand will bring together the country's 20 DHBs, a workforce of about 80,000, an annual operating budget of 20 billion NZ dollars (14 billion U.S. dollars) and an asset base of about 24 billion NZ dollars (16.78 billion U.S. dollars), he said.

"This marks a significant milestone in progress towards a more equitable health system," Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare said in a statement.

"The new Māori Health Authority will be a gamechanger for our people," Henare said, adding it will give Maori a strong voice in a new system focused on improving the disproportionate health outcomes that have long affected the community.

Rob Campbell, an experienced professional director with extensive union, public and private sector governance experience, has been appointed as the Chair of Health New Zealand. With his extensive experience leading large organizations, these skills will be essential to lead Health New Zealand which will become the country's largest employer, Little said.

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