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What we're doing in health

We want every New Zealander to be happy, safe, and healthy. To do this, we need to support strong, safe communities, and a robust and efficient health system.

Our health system is under serious pressure after years of neglect and under-investment. Mental health, investment in nurses and doctors and funding for cancer treatment have been neglected.

New Zealanders deserve better.

That's why one of our main priorities as a Government has been a major overhaul of our healthcare system: rebuilding hospitals, boosting funding of much-needed services, and making sure those working on the frontline are getting proper support. 

Take a look at some of the things we've achieved below - it's just the start.

Nationwide

  • Started to rollout out a free, nationwide, frontline mental health service
  • Announced our Cancer Action Plan – so everyone battling cancer in New Zealand can get the best possible care, no matter where they live
  • Funded new cancer treatment equipment like radiation machines and new cancer drugs
  • Invested in fixing rundown hospitals including completely rebuilding Dunedin hospital
  • Better funded District Health Boards to keep pace with population growth
  • Made doctors' visits cheaper 
  • Made GP visits free for under 14-year-olds
  • Announced a new Suicide prevention office to coordinate work already underway to reduce New Zealand’s historically high rate of suicide
  • Better funded our ambulance service
  • Extended the nurses in schools programme
  • Boosted PHARMAC funding
  • Announced plans to pay family carers what they deserve
  • Taken a health approach to the misuse of drugs while going hard on dealers and organised crime.

Regional health milestones

Northland

  • New endoscopy and cardiac care facilities for Whangarei Hospital
  • Bay of Islands Hospital redevelopment, meaning the Kawakawa facility is better placed to meet the needs of its community now and in years to come
  • Te Ara Oranga pilot in Northland referring people addicted to drugs to mental health and addiction treatments
  • Rolling out the Bowel screening programme in 2021
  • All general practices in Northland have opted to provide lower-cost visit to patients with Community services cards
  • New state-of-the-art cancer radiation treatment machine for the first time in Northland
  • Piloting onsite mental health support services in Whangarei, Kamo and Kerikeri GPs.

Auckland

  • Major funding to fix longstanding problems at Middlemore Hospital
  • Investment in the Manukau Super Clinic including a new dental clinical training facility to improve access to dental care
  • 120 additional elective surgery beds and four new operating theatres for North Shore Hospital
  • New integrated stroke and rehabilitation unit for Auckland City Hospital 
  • Addressing significant infrastructure challenges at Auckland City Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre
  • Improved acute dialysis and cardiac facilities at Middlemore
  • Doubling the number of beds at Counties Manukau mental health unit Tiaho Mai
  • Supporting Māori and Pacific communities to develop community-led initiatives against rheumatic fever
  • A new linear accelerator radiation machine
  • Rolled out the National Bowel Screening Programme to Counties Manukau and Waitemata DHBs
  • Launched new addiction treatment facilities for Auckland City Mission.

Waikato, Lakes District & Bay of Plenty

  • Rolled out Bowel screening programme to the Lakes District in 2019, will roll out to Waikato and Bay of Plenty in 2021
  • New service for pregnant women and parents battling mental health and drug and alcohol issues in the Eastern Bay of Plenty
  • Disability support system pilot continuing in Waikato
  • Piloting onsite free mental health support services in Tūrangi and Taupo Medical Centres
  • New state-of-the-art cancer radiation treatment machines
  • Holding the Waikato DHB board to account over poor finances and governances with an appointment of a new commissioner
  • All general practices in Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Board areas are providing lower-cost visits to patients with Community services cards.

Tairawhiti & Hawke's Bay

  • A mental health and addiction support facility at Tairawhiti DHB
  • A new gastroenterology and endoscopy unit at Hawke's Bay Hospital
  • Pilot Funding for a free kaupapa Māori provider in Tairāwhiti to provide mental health support for patients via their local doctor’s clinic
  • Earthquake strengthening for Hawke's Bay Hospital
  • New state-of-the-art cancer radiation treatment machine for the first time in Hawke's Bay
  • Rolled out the National Bowel Screening Programme to Hawke's Bay, will roll out to Tairawhiti in 2020
  • All general practices in Tairawhiti and Hawke's Bay have opted to provide lower-cost visits to patients with Community services cards.

Mid Central, Whanganui and Taranaki

  • Trialing a new system that will make it easier for people with disabilities to access supports in Mid Central
  • New state-of-the-art cancer radiation treatment machine for the first time in Taranaki
  • Rolled out the National Bowel Screening Programme to Whanganui and MidCentral
  • All general practices in Whanganui have opted to provide lower-cost visit to patients with Community services cards.

Wellington & Wairarapa

  • New purpose-built and secure six-unit mental health facility in Porirua for patients with an intellectual disability and or mental health diagnosis
  • State of the art children's hospital in Wellington
  • Free youth mental health pilot for 18 to 25-year-olds in Porirua, now expanded to Capital & Coast DHB and tertiary institutions throughout Wellington, Hutt and Wairarapa
  • New state of the art cancer radiation treatment machines
  • Rolled out Bowel Screening Programme to Hutt Valley and Wairarapa, rolling out to Capital and Coast in 2020
  • All general practices in Hutt Valley and Wairarapa, have opted to provide lower-cost visit to patients with Community services cards.

West Coast Tasman & Nelson/Marlborough

  • A new modern, purpose-designed health facility for the people of Buller in Westport
  • Rolled out Bowel Screening Programme in Nelson and Marlborough
  • Cheaper visits for Community Services Cardholders at all West Coast DHB GPs.

Canterbury

  • Mental health support for all Year 1-8 children in Canterbury and Kaikoura through our Mana Ake programme
  • New mental health facilities for Hillmorton in Christchurch
  • Renewable energy for Christchurch hospital – improving resilience and environmental sustainability
  • New state-of-the-art cancer radiation treatment machines
  • Rolling out Bowel Screening Programme in 2020 to Canterbury and South Canterbury DHBs
  • All General Practices in South Canterbury have opted to provide lower-cost visit to patients with Community services cards
  • Disability support system trial in Christchurch to continue
  • Extra mental health funding support services provided in the wake of the March 15 terror attacks.

Otago/Southland

  • Rebuild of Dunedin Hospital, including the fast-tracking of an outpatient and day surgery building
  • Funding boost for small community-run Maniototo Hospital in Ranfurly to help with a long-awaited rebuild
  • Two new air ambulances
  • Rolled out the National Bowel Screening Programme.