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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

New direction for Health New Zealand

By Vaseline May30,2024
New direction for Health New Zealand

Professor Lester Levy has been appointed member and chair of the Board of Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora (Health NZ), Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.

“Professor Levy has extensive experience in the healthcare system and will provide strong leadership to Health NZ during a period of continued change,” Dr Reti said.

“The challenges facing Health NZ are the result of the last government’s poorly planned health reforms and have highlighted for me the urgent need for further transformation.

“Today’s appointment of a new chairman adds to the previous appointment of a Crown observer and a new board member with specialist financial expertise.

“These measures are part of our government’s plan to put Health NZ on a better footing. The Labor Government has failed to recognize a health crisis and has failed in its duty to provide adequate oversight and support during a period of enormous healthcare turmoil.

“This resulted in significant turbulence for Health NZ, especially in the workforce where we know a strong frontline is crucial.

“Professor Levy is well suited to help address these challenges due to his background in leading organizational performance transformations in both the public and private sectors.

“As he takes on the role, there are some positive signs around workforce levels, with the latest figures showing an increase in the number of nursing appointments under our government.

“The nursing workforce has grown by more than 1,000 FTE so far in 2024, and the senior medical office workforce has grown by more than 80 FTE. This is in addition to an increase of almost 2,500 additional FTE nurses between December 2022 and December 2023.

“While nurse numbers are now doing well overall, we know there is still work to be done in mental health, obstetrics and critical care, as well as needs in primary and community care .

“At the same time, the enormous task of recruiting and employing this new workforce has resulted in shifting cost areas that Health NZ must continually meet.

“As it prioritizes funding from yesterday’s Budget for these areas, I expect Health NZ and its leadership will actively focus on recruiting in the areas with the highest frontline needs.

“Our government is fully committed to continued and significant investment in healthcare. We want to create a healthcare system that meets the needs of New Zealanders by focusing on workforce, goals, infrastructure and financial sustainability.

“I thank our health workers for their hard work despite Labour’s damaging reforms.

“I would also like to reiterate the outgoing chair of Health NZ, Dame Dr. Karen Poutasi, for her services on the board.

“I look forward to the continued progress this government will make in improving the healthcare system for all New Zealanders.”

Professor Lester Levy will take up the position from 1 June 2024 for a period of two years.

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