Around 2000 people took part in discussions around the Healthy Ageing Strategy and a summary of more than 200 submissions has been released on the Ministry of Health’s website.

The Healthy Ageing Strategy document was published in December last year and the implementation plan is expected to be finalised later this year.

Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says it is encouraging to see such a high level of interest in the strategy.

“It’s incredibly heartening to know so many people have taken the time to engage in the Healthy Ageing Strategy consultation process — it gives us a great chance of delivering what New Zealanders want,” Ms Wagner says.

“The high level of public and sector engagement led to positive changes in the strategy’s direction. For example, the name was changed to better reflect what people were telling us — that this is about maximising health and wellbeing through New Zealanders’ older years.”

The Healthy Ageing Strategy refreshes and replaces the Health of Older People Strategy 2002, and aligns with the new New Zealand Health Strategy 2016. It presents the strategic direction for change and a set of actions to improve the health of older people, into and throughout their later years.

“It recognises that we’re ageing at different times and in different ways, and our needs are not the same. Healthy ageing is a life-long process.”

Ms Wagner says there was strong support for the strategy’s goals and plans to achieve them.

“I look forward to seeing how the health and social sectors work to implement the strategy and improve health and social outcomes for our older people.”

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