Clark announces health system review

Health Minister David Clark has announced a review into the health system. Photo: Lynn Grieveson.

A wide-ranging review of the health and disability sector has been announced by Health Minister David Clark.

“It will look at the way we structure, resource and deliver health services – not just for the next few years but for decades to come,” Clark said.

The review’s terms of reference released on Tuesday focus on issues with incentives and governance within the health system. The document says the incentives in the current system can encourage people to access healthcare only when they are sick, instead of using services to stay well.

It also directed attention to the devolved nature of the current system.

“The current devolved health system has a complex mix of governance, ownership, business and accountability models and arrangements,” it said.

“This complexity can get in the way of ensuring public money is spent to invest in, and provide, healthcare to the public in a coherent and smart way”.

The review panel will have its first meeting in August 2018 and issue an interim report no later than August 2019 with the final report due on 31 January 2020. It will have the power to recommend changes to the Government.

The public health sector has come under intense scrutiny this year after discoveries of severely deteriorated assets and allegations of overcrowding at Middlemore Hospital.