Positive progress in health but challenges remain
The Health Minister Dr David Clark says a new report taking the pulse of the nation highlights several positives but underlines the seriousness of the challenges the Government is addressing.
The annual Health and Independence report shows most New Zealanders feel they are in good, very good or excellent health.
“We are living longer, and our health expectancy - how long we live in good health - is increasing too,’’ David Clark says.
“The rate of premature deaths which could have been avoided with effective access to health care is declining among all groups.
“It’s also positive to see that fewer New Zealanders smoke and more children are starting school without dental cavities, as highlighted in the report.”
However, the report underlines serious challenges.
“New Zealanders are spending a longer period in their lives in poor health – often due to avoidable illness.
“The report also highlights persistent inequities in physical and mental health outcomes particularly among Māori, Pacific peoples and those living in lower socio-economic communities.
“Clearly we have more work to do. I’m confident the review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector we’ve begun will provide a solid foundation on which to make the changes we need to deliver a healthier and fairer future,’’ David Clark said.