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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

This publication details the objectives, work programme and intended outcomes for the Office of the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (CAHPO) of the Ministry of Health 2021–23.

The allied health workforce is made up of professionals who are not part of the medical or nursing professions. There are at least 43 professions who are classed as allied health professions in New Zealand. They are autonomous practitioners who work in a variety of health and disability settings and often work in multidisciplinary teams.

There is considerable breadth of scope in practice and models of care across the allied health, scientific and technical professions, with significant potential to meet the needs of the New Zealand population. Whilst our population continues to grow and the emphasis of its needs continues to change, the health system is continually looking to evolve and meet those identified needs. Allied health professions are uniquely positioned to provide preventative and restorative interventions alongside diagnostic, rehabilitative and sustaining services.

The allied health workforce is using opportunities to engage with the ‘whole-of-system’ model of services, addressing the continuity of service provision and fulfilling the patient-centred approach to service provision. It is actively engaged in driving initiatives that apply and integrate data and digital methods into everyday practices. Where allied health services are evolving to meet the current societal conditions, models of care, advanced scopes of practice and a transdisciplinary lens are strengthening the impact of those services in preventing health deterioration and sustaining the wellbeing of the population.

As the allied health community collectively and individually works to raise its profile, it has demonstrated its value to the health and disability system and develop novel models of care that meet the complex changing population health needs. This plan underpins and supports the role of the CAHPO to unite these intentions and establish a clear path forward to co-design effective health and disability services for the future.