Prepared by Amy Downs, 2017
With funding from the sponsors of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy
Amy Downs from Denver, Colorado, researched access and equity in New Zealand’s primary health care system at The Treasury. Amy is Vice President of the Colorado Health Institute where she leads the organisation’s policy analytics work.
As health care expenditures and the prevalence of chronic disease increase throughout the world, many countries seek to promote primary care to improve their residents’ health, narrow inequalities in health outcomes and mitigate health care expenditure growth. New Zealand implemented major policy reforms within its health care sector to advance these objectives.
While New Zealand’s health care sector performs well based on international standards, the goals of these reforms have not been fully realised. While some health outcomes have improved, disparities between different populations persist. Nearly one-third of New Zealanders report difficulties accessing needed primary care and challenges remain in integrating primary and hospital care. Significant concerns exist among primary care providers and the public regarding how and at what level the system is financed.
The following report analyses the primary care sector in New Zealand and the extent which changes could help address primary care policy objectives. The report includes 15 recommendations to the government that span a number of themes:
Download the full report in PDF format: