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Te Whanganui a Tara – Aotearoa is entering a new revamped public health system.

All district health boards will go, to be replaced by one national organisation, Health New Zealand.

A new Māori health authority will have the power to commission health services, monitor the state of Māori health and develop policy.

A new public health agency will be created.

A strengthened Ministry of Health will monitor performance and advise government.

The government change will hopefully put a greater emphasis on primary healthcare and ensure fairer access for all New Zealanders. They are two of the main drivers of health sector reforms announced today by health minister Andrew Little.

The reformat of health puts emphasis squarely on primary and community healthcare and will do away with duplication so health workers can do what they do best – keep people well.

Possibly for the first time, Aotearoa will have a truly national health system.

All 20 district health boards replaced with new Crown entity Health New Zealand, which will be responsible for running hospitals and commissioning primary and community health services. It will have four regional divisions.

The changes are in response to the Health and Disability System Review, which found the public health system was under stress and that a greater emphasis on primary healthcare had the greatest potential to improve New Zealanders’ health.