From Dr Brendon Eade Pinnacle Incorporated Deputy Chair
The broader Pinnacle Group sees the Health and Disability System Review - Interim Report as effectively highlighting many of the key challenges and opportunities the New Zealand health sector is facing.
On some levels the system performs well, but needs future proofing to ensure it is resilient and fit for purpose. For this to be enabled many of the issues identified need to be effectively addressed with a commitment to action.
For Maori in particular, and for high need populations, a shift from hospital-based care to more culturally appropriate community and closer to home settings will need to be a key feature of the future sector.
If we are to truly realise the system change required, a stronger and more purposeful leadership is required across the system. The recent period of risk management and containment has not served New Zealand well, leaving many gaps and failing services in primary care as leadership has failed to challenge the performance and the behaviour of the system.
The following figure in the review points to the core challenge the sector faces with $10b going into hospital care that has high fixed labour costs, what appears to be low productivity and for care that could have been prevented with a higher investment in primary care services.
Primary and community care total spend is a tiny portion of the total funding and the impact is reflected throughout the document through Maori, Tier 1, Disability and many of the enablers around access, cost, data and capacity.