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Issue: July 2018


People around Aotearoa New Zealand are marking Matariki, the Māori New Year. It’s a time to reflect on lessons from the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the future.

‘He aha te mea nui o te Ao? What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is people, it is people, it is people.’

It’s in this spirit that we continue working to enhance our health system and achieve key health priorities in partnership with you, our stakeholders. We are one team, kotahi te tīma.


Nurses’ planned industrial action

The Ministry wants to reassure people that patient safety will remain paramount during this week’s planned 24-hour strike by New Zealand Nurses Organisation members.

It’s also important for people to remember they should not delay seeking urgent treatment if they need it, during the strike.

Nurses are hardworking and committed to their jobs and we wish to thank those who have agreed to provide Life Preserving Services during the strike period.

Patients not in urgent need of treatment should remember to keep emergency departments for emergencies.

If you have health concerns, remember that Healthline is just a call away –  0800 611 116.


New tool makes it easy for New Zealanders to have a say about our health system

The Ministry has launched the Health Consultation Hub, an online survey and consultation tool. It makes it easier for New Zealanders to engage with us about our health system.

The tool is easy to use and is accessible. It allows both quantitative and qualitative consultations to be run, maximising the quality of results.


Introducing Death Documents

Death Documents is a new initiative enabling all doctors and nurse practitioners to complete the necessary medical and cremation forms online after someone dies, instead of filling in paper forms.

Death Documents is accessible from computers and mobile devices, including tablets.

We've received positive feedback about Death Documents, which features an intuitive, step-by-step process with submitted forms instantly sent to the Ministry.

The project is working towards a fully digital process in the coming months which will see funeral directors and medical referees also able to view and use the forms online. You can find out more about Death Documents project on our website.


Supreme Court issues water fluoridation judgement

The Supreme Court has issued a judgement confirming local authorities have the legal authority to fluoridate water supplies and that in doing so, they’re not breaching people’s individual right to refuse to undergo medical treatment.


2018 Volunteer Awards presented

Minister of Health Dr David Clark hosted this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards at Parliament last month. The awards recognise the efforts of the many thousands of New Zealanders volunteering in our health system.

Kim Gosman of Turangi was the Health Volunteer of the Year. Kim has volunteered in health for a number of years, including maternity services and marae-based ear clinics.

You can find out more about the awards and this year’s winners on the Ministry's website: Minister of Health Volunteer Awards


Summit focused on eliminating Hepatitis C

In the lead up to World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, the New Zealand Hepatitis C Summit is being held in Auckland on Friday 27 July.

The highlight of the summit will be a panel discussion bringing together experts to discuss how New Zealand can achieve the World Health Organization's goal of eliminating Hepatitis C by 2030. Register online


Latest news on our website

FluTracking proves popular
The Ministry’s online FluTracking initiative is boosting our understanding of influenza. ‘FluTracking is already providing useful information that matches our existing surveillance systems around New Zealand and enables people to be actively involved in monitoring influenza-like illness here,’ says the Ministry’s Director of Public Health, Dr Caroline McElnay.

Ministry response to the Performance Improvement Framework review released
In April 2018, we provided a formal response to SSC on the PIF review. The response mixes ‘quick wins’ with expectations for results over the next 12 months.

Ministry contracts for design phase of National Bowel Screening Programme IT system
The planning and design phase of the new National Bowel Screening Programme IT system, the National Screening Solution (NSS) is under way.


Latest publications and resources

Māori Provider Development Scheme
Applications for this year's Māori Provider Development Scheme are open until 8 August.

Pacific Islands Families Study 2014: Mother and youth gambling report
This research is part of the longitudinal Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study conducted by AUT which is following a cohort of Pacific children born in 2000 and their parents.

Top Tips for Improving Your Acute Demand Management
This publication provides tips to implement strategies for teams, departments and organisations wanting to see improved practice and improved health outcomes for patients.

Molecular Testing of Colorectal Cancers in New Zealand: Minimum standards for molecular testing of newly diagnosed colorectal cancers
The molecular testing standards set out the expected level of testing for patients who have received a new diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

National Travel Assistance Scheme Review: Summary of surveys
The Ministry surveyed the public and the health sector from October 2017 to April 2018 to get feedback about their experiences with the National Travel Assistance (NTA) scheme.

Report on the biological monitoring of selected chemicals of concern
The Ministry commissioned Massey University’s Centre for Public Health Research to assess the level of selected chemicals in human blood and urine samples of New Zealanders.

Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in New Zealand Children
This New Zealand Health Survey publication explores the prevalence of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in New Zealand children aged 3–14 years.

Prescriber Update
Medsafe's newsletter for health care professionals with information about medicine and medical device safety.

Annual Report on Drinking-water Quality 2016–2017
This Annual Report describes drinking-water quality over 2016 to 2017.



Posthumous reproduction consultation launched
The Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ACART) has released a stage-one posthumous consultation on policy options that could allow people to use fertility treatment in the event that one of their loved ones dies. This consultation closes on 3 September 2018.

Update to the Guideline on the Regulation of Therapeutic Products
Medsafe is seeking comments about a major revision of the Guideline on the Regulation of Therapeutic Products – Part 11: Clinical trials – regulatory approval and good clinical practice requirements. This Consultation closes on 3 August 2018.

Proposed changes to the National Health Index (NHI) system and HISO 10046
The Ministry of Health is considering undertaking a number of changes to the National Health Index (NHI) system and HISO 10046, the Consumer Health Identity Standard. Changes made will be included in the associated Consumer Health Identity Standard. This consultation is open for comment until 5pm, 22 August 2018.


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Contact details

Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora
133 Molesworth Street
Thorndon, Wellington, 6011
New Zealand.

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