Tēnā koutou katoa
Firstly, let me quickly introduce myself; I’m Anna Clark, the new Deputy Director-General for the Health Workforce Directorate at the Ministry of Health.
It’s week two for me in this role and I’m very much looking forward to working with you and the sector on the issues facing New Zealand’s health and disability workforce. I’ll send an update shortly to further introduce myself and talk about some of the work we’re doing, but in the meantime the Ministry wants to share some important information with you.
You may receive this from your contacts across the Ministry, but it’s an important message we want to ensure you receive.
Significant changes coming into effect on 1 July
I am writing in relation to two significant changes to regulatory frameworks that will impact the health sector from 1 July 2019:
a new information sharing scheme introduced by the Family Violence Act 2018
a new information sharing scheme introduced by sections 65A to 66D of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.
These regulatory frameworks together contribute to the modernisation of New Zealand’s response to family violence and child abuse and neglect. The frameworks promote collaboration across government to better enable the safety and wellbeing of families, whanau, communities and children and young people.
The Ministry of Health has been working with Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry of Justice, ACC and other agencies to support the introduction of these changes across the social sector.
Impact on the health sector
The health sector has a key role to play in supporting this collaboration because of its reach into the lives of all New Zealanders, and our shared responsibility to promote and protect the health of all across the life course.
All health workers whether they work in government or non-government organisations, in hospitals or the community, or in primary, secondary or tertiary care will need to understand what the information sharing changes mean for them.
Guidance on sharing information safely
Hon Tracey Martin, the Minister for Children, and Jan Logie, MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues) have released guidance documents and supporting resources that are available here:
The health sector has contributed to the development of these guidance documents.
Health sector specific resources
The Ministry of Health is developing health specific resources. Now available on the Ministry of Health website are:
Practical guidance for health professionals with helpful, practical information will follow during July. These resources are being designed to help health practitioners decide if they can share information with or, request information from another agency.
All the agencies are working together to monitor the introduction of the new information sharing schemes, develop training, and consider what else is needed to support these changes.
Thank you for your support as we work together to introduce these important changes to foster the information flow and collaboration that will enable us to provide better outcomes for families, whānau and all children in Aotearoa / New Zealand.
Ngā mihi nui,
Deputy Director-General, Health Workforce, Ministry of Health.