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Health

We went hard and early to stamp out the virus and save lives, and avoid the devastation seen overseas. Now’s the time to lock in the hard-won gains and not allow the virus to bounce back.

We’re heading in the right direction and this next phase is about keeping on top of the virus and giving more people access to better healthcare across New Zealand.

Labour’s 2020 campaign policies

We will be adding new 2020 campaign policy announcements here ahead of the October 17th election. Check back regularly for updates.

We're committed to:

  • Making mental health support available to all primary and intermediate school age students in the country, and continued roll out of nurses in secondary schools
  • Additional $200m to reduce waiting lists
  • Significant funding boost for PHARMAC to ensure more medicines can be funded for more New Zealanders
  • Doubling the number of cochlear implants 
  • Dental health grants of up to $1000 for those on low incomes and 20 additional mobile dental clinics

You can read more here.

Labour’s plan

Labour is already rolling out our plan to protect the health of New Zealanders while investing to build up the capacity of our health services after years of underfunding. That’s why we are:

  • Making record investment in our hospitals and health services including the biggest ever funding increase for DHBs, to ensure all New Zealanders can access quality care
  • Boosting funding for PHARMAC to make sure New Zealanders continue to get the medicines they need despite global pressure on supply chains
  • Increasing funding for planned care to deliver more than 150,000 additional surgeries, procedures, scans and appointments to help clear the COVID-19 backlog.

Labour’s achievements to date

During the COVID crisis

There was no playbook for dealing with COVID-19 but our plan to combat the virus is working – the results speak for themselves. The strategy was going hard and early with border closure and lockdown (as part of an alert level system), and adapting as circumstances changed. The success of our team of five million means we’re coming out safer and stronger than most other countries.

To continue to keep New Zealanders safe, we've implemented one of the strictest systems in the world with managed isolation and quarantine at the border, high rates of testing, and robust contact tracing.

Before the COVID crisis

We’re taking mental health seriously by making record investments to make it easier for people to get help early. Right now, we’re:

  • Rolling out frontline mental health services, like Piki, which provides free mental health and wellbeing support to 18-25 year olds, benefitting more than 300,000 people
  • Investing significantly in new and existing neglected mental health and addiction facilities, like in Hamilton, Tairāwhiti, Palmerston North and Christchurch
  • Re-establishing the Mental Health Commission to provide independent insight and leadership on mental health and addiction policies.

And we boosted funded PHARMAC so it can buy new cancer drugs, invested in infrastructure like rebuilding Dunedin Hospital, funded pay increases for nurses and mental health workers, and strengthened our health workforce by adding more doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health workers.

Since we came into Government, we’ve also:

  • Made record investments in DHBs to relieve some of the pressure they’ve been under
  • Made record capital investments to rebuild our rundown hospitals and health facilities
  • Made visiting the doctor cheaper or free for nearly 600,000 New Zealanders
  • Launched new Cancer Action Plan and created the independent Cancer Control Agency