Major review of health system

This one is called a Review but it seems to be similar to the scores of working groups and committees and inquiries set up by the Government.

A major health Review, to be chaired by Heather Simpson, senior staffer for Helen Clark when she was Prime minister and also in when working for the UN, and I think also assisting the current prime Minister’s office, will report back by January 2020.

That is unlikely to leave enough time to make any major changes prior to the election, but will likely provide for a  basis for Labour-Green campaign policy.

Major review of health system launched

Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced a wide-ranging review designed to future-proof our health and disability services.

“New Zealanders are generally well served by our health services, particularly when they are seriously unwell or injured. Overall we are living longer and healthier lives – but we also face major challenges,” says David Clark.

“The Review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector will be wide-ranging and firmly focused on a fairer future. It will look at the way we structure, resource and deliver health services – not just for the next few years but for decades to come.

“We need to face up to the fact that our health system does not deliver equally well for all. We know our Māori and Pacific peoples have worse health outcomes and shorter lives. That is something we simply cannot accept.

“We also need to get real about the impact of a growing and aging population, and the increase in chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes. Those issues in turn create pressure on services and the health workforce that need to be addressed for the long term sustainability of our public health service.

“The Review will include a strong focus on primary and community based care. We want to make sure people get the health care they need to stay well. Early intervention and prevention work can also help take pressure off our hospitals and specialist services.

“People rightly have high expectations of our public health service. As Health Minister I want to ensure we can meet those expectations now and into the future,” says David Clark.

The Review will be chaired by Heather Simpson, who is perhaps best known as Chief of Staff to Helen Clark from 1999-2008 but also has a background in health economics. The Review will provide an interim report by the end of July 2019 and a final report by 31 January 2020.


The review would culminate in a report to Government, including recommendations, on:

  • How the health system can improve accessibility and outcomes for all populations
  • Whether the health system promotes the right balance between availability of services,
    (particularly tertiary services) population density and proximity
  • Whether the current system is well-placed to deal with environmental challenges such as climate
    change, antibiotic resistance and technological advances
  • Whether there are changes that can be made to the health system that would make it fairer,
    more equitable and effective
  • How the technological and global healthcare context is evolving, what opportunities and risks
    this rapidly-evolving context presents, and whether there are changes that would support the
    health system to adapt effectively given the rapid changes underway.

In examining the points above, the review would consider the following:

  • Demographic impacts – what the predicted population changes are, their potential impacts
    upon service demand, workforce availability and risks that may need to be managed
  • The international landscape – what New Zealand might learn from examining where health
    systems are heading internationally and what the impacts are, including input from relevant
    international organisations such as the OECD, World Health Organisation and the
    Commonwealth Fund
  • Decisions around distribution of healthcare resources, capacity of the health system to deliver
    care and clinical effectiveness (quality and safety) – e.g. how does the current geographic
    distribution of services help or hinder the system as a whole
  • Funding – how financial resources applied to health funding could be altered to provide
    greater flexibility in allocation, better transparency of return on investment, better support
    innovation in service mix/design and investment in key enablers, and reduce inequities
    through targeting those in need
  • Investment practices – providing a nation-wide view of how much infrastructure will be
    needed, over what timeframe and the balance to be struck across service provision and
  • Ways to support the increasing priority of the role primary care and prevention has within the
    wider heath service
  • Potential opportunities and risks associated with rapidly emerging technological advances and
    the implications for, including but not limited to, clinical tools and settings, communication and
  • Institutional arrangements – roles and responsibilities, funding, accountability and delivery

[DRAFT] Health and Disability Review Terms of Reference.pdf

Chief of Staff turnover

Change of government elections always bring about changes of personnel, and not just of MPs. Some Parliamentary staff no longer have jobs, and new ones are appointed.

John Key’s long time chief of staff Wayne Eagleson also worked for Bill English when he took over, but announced he was quitting after the election – NZH: Bill English’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson quits

The man who’s often been referred to as the most powerful non-elected politician in the country is quitting.

Wayne Eagleson has been Sir John Key and Bill English’s chief of staff for 12 years, but says it’s time to look at other options.

Mr Eagleson will stay around until the new Government is formed, which is expected to be around mid-October.

Eagleson formally told Bill English last week he planned to resign after the election but insiders say it has been known by the Ninth Floor for several months that he planned to go, no matter what the election result.

It is a very demanding job, and of vital importance to the functioning of Government.

Helen Clark’s stalwart chief of staff is back helping Ardern : Helen Clark’s top advisor returns to Labour Party

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark’s top advisor, Heather Simpson, has returned to advise the new Labour Government.

Ms Simpson has a three-decade working relationship with Ms Clark, working as chief of staff to the Labour Party before spending eight years advising Ms Clark at the UN.

Her return is seen as a sign of Labour’s move to strengthen its management team behind the scenes.

She is assisting with the staffing of minister’s offices and ‘reviewing the review’ of the campaign.

She was known as H2 alongside H1 (Clark) – Grant Robertson has been refereed to as H3 when he worked in Clark’s office.

The Greens have also had a change:

Andrew Campbell is leaving New Zealand Rugby to take on the role of chief strategist. He was previously chief of staff for the Greens. He was involved during the campaign, before joining the negotiating team.

Greens announced in April last year:

Green Party Chief of Staff Andrew Campbell has announced his resignation from the position after five and a half years with the party.

Andrew Campbell has overseen the recruitment process for his replacement, and it is anticipated an appointment will be made within the coming weeks.

“Andrew indicated his intention to leave the Greens after the 2014 election, but offered to stay on to oversee the transition to our new male Co-leader James Shaw, and lead the internal change management process after James was elected,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“Andrew ran our communications through our two most successful election campaigns and has been a real asset to the Party,” said Mrs Turei.

Campbell seems to have been lured by the Green’s elevation to a position of power. NBR on 12 August (just after Turei resigned and Greens crashed in the polls – The man who could save the Greens:

I gave Mr Campbell a call at NZ Rugby, where he’s now working as a communications manager. In short forget a political comeback.

“I’m really enjoying my work here,” he said. He had no desire to return to politics, or indeed even comment on recent events.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the change of Chief of staff for NZ First – that warrants a separate post. See Johansson appointed NZ First chief of staff


Eagleson quitting PM’s office

Wayne Eagleson, who has been the Prime Ministers’ chief of staff for nine years (for John Key and Bill English), is quitting after coalition negotiations are complete.

Stuff:  National Party’s most senior adviser resigns

National leader Bill English’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson has resigned.

Eagleson has been a pivotal figure for the past nine years in the National government, and Stuff has been told he will stay on for the next few weeks while negotiations carry on to form a government.

Eagleson was particularly close to former leader John Key and stayed on after English asked him to do so following the change of leadership.

But he had been widely expected to go after the election.

So it’s no surprise, and a logical time to quit – unlike the Green chief of staff and also their political director who both quit with their party in crisis heading into the election campaign.

Once private secretary to former Prime Minister Jim Bolger Eagleson was often said to be the one running the country when Key was out of town.”When Eagleson says it, Key says it,” many an insider has been known to say, and the MPs believed it too.

Eagleson was one of the earliest appointments English made, before he himself was formally appointed in fact – a testament to just how much his strategic mind is valued by the National Party.

He has been hugely influential behind the scenes in National and his attributes of being calm and unflappable were seen as contributing to the Key Government’s success.

It’s an important position. Helen Clark also had a dependable and long serving chief of staff, Heather Simpson (H2).