Health Minister David Clark called on health professionals to ensure Heather Simpson’s Health Review team hears “early” and “often” about the challenges they face.

Clark made the call during his speech to the weekend’s South GP CME conference following questions and comments from GPs and nurse practitioners in the audience about primary health funding and models of care.

“They (the Heather Simpson-led Health and Disability System Review team) should hear early on and they should hear often – particularly from GPs –about the challenges being faced,” he said.

The call was made after a question about the scrapping of the Very Low Cost Access practices and a call for more nurse practitioner  research and training places.  Clark said with the review team only having met for the first time last week he was putting pressure on them by encouraging GPs, NPs and others to  make submissions. “But let’s make sure they hear those views early… this review is a once in a generation opportunity as I see it.”

The review was launched in May by the Minister and the final terms of reference (see below) and review team announced earlier this month.

Clark said the Review panel was an ‘impressive group of people” with a big task in front of them and part of their mandate would be to test their findings before making their final report in 19 months’ time.

The panel members are: Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society chief executive Shelley Campbell, Otago Medical School dean Professor Peter Crampton, Digital Health head for Mercy Radiology and Private Surgical Hospitals Association vice-president Dr Lloyd McCann, former nursing dean and Pacific nurse leader Dr Margaret Southwick, former DHB funding and planning manager Dr Winfield Bennett, and former New Zealand Post Group chief executive Sir Brian Roche.

Clark said every time he had set up a panel he had received a lot of criticism for people who weren’t on. “But there are so many groups you can’t get it perfectly representative – I’ve aimed to get quality people there that I know will listen and who are thinkers about the future that we want to share.”

More on the review here or email

Final Health and Disability System Review terms of reference

The Review is to consider the overall function of the Health and Disability system to ensure the system is “better balanced towards wellness, access, equity, and sustainability”.

It is to deliver an interim report by August 31 2019 and a final report by March 31 2020  to the Minister of Health including recommendations (and implementation proposals) for a sustainable and forward-lookingHealth and Disability system that:

  • Is designed to achieve better health and wellness outcomes for all New Zealanders
  • Ensures improvements in health outcomes of Māori and other population groups
  • Has reduced barriers to access to both health and disability services to achieve equitable outcomes for all parts of the population
  • Improves the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the Health and Disability System, including institutional, funding and governance arrangements.

In making the recommendations the Review is to consider:

  • Future needs of the population
  • Importance of primary health care
  • The role of public health and prevention
  • Interaction between health and other social sector agencies
  • Capacity of the Health and Disability system to deliver appropriate, safe and quality care.
  • Distribution of services, including future infrastructure needs
  • Optimising workforce (development, scopes of practice, inter-professional collaboration, retention, cultural competency, and distribution)
  • The role of data and evidence
  • Potential opportunities and risks associated with current and emerging technologies
  • The Government’s overall Fiscal Strategy.

Summarised from: Final Terms of Reference for Review of New Zealand Health and Disability System


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