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Labour’s review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector needs to achieve the best outcome for patients whilst taking an independent approach to ensure that changes made to the health sector are positive, appropriate and enduring, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“National expects this work to focus on improving the productivity of our health system so that patients receive continuously improving health services.

“The measure of a successful health system is not the amount of money spent, but the quality of care patients receive.

“The appointment of long-time Labour staff member Heather Simpson requires her to reassure the public that her actions will be free from party politics and that she will advocate on behalf of patients, healthcare workers, and the sector as a whole.

“The review needs to be independent and work across party lines. In order to be worthwhile it must consider a range of views and approaches to achieve the best outcome for patients.

“We urge the Government to incorporate the New Zealand Health Strategy, commissioned by National and published in 2016, into its review. The strategy championed significant change in the health sector and outlined the health and disability system's direction for the next ten years – it would be a waste if this work were thrown out.

“This review should not and cannot detract from the continuing work to improve outcomes, increase access, and engage new technologies for both the benefit of patients and the health system as a whole.”

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