The health and independence report reviews the state of public health in New Zealand.
This year’s report focuses on a number of high profile areas for the health and disability system including pregnancy and early childhood, mental health and wellbeing, and vulnerable groups.
Currently too few New Zealanders are following healthy lifestyles. Improving diet and levels of exercise and reducing a range of risky behaviours are vital. Moving a greater proportion of New Zealanders toward less risky lifestyles will reduce health loss and improve the general health of the population.
Early diagnosis, timely treatment and effective management are important for both mental and physical health. The health and disability system must ensure all New Zealanders have good access to effective screening and primary health care services.
As well as putting a greater focus on prevention, the health and disability system faces a number of challenges going forward. Given the increasingly diverse and ageing population, complex issues like child vulnerability and obesity, and the need to ensure the sustainability of the health and disability system, the health and disability system must think about new ways of working.