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1.  Integrated care in New Zealand 
International Journal of Integrated Care  2011;11(Special 10th Anniversary Edition):e138.
Background
New Zealand’s health system has long been seen as providing highly fragmented, poorly co-ordinated services to service users. A continuing policy challenge has been how to reduce such fragmentation and achieve more ‘integrated’ care, that is, ‘co-ordinated’ care that provides a ‘smooth and continuous’ transition between services, and a ‘seamless’ journey as service users receive health, support, and social welfare services from a range of health and other professionals.
Description of policy practice
The paper takes as its starting point the view that achieving integrated care needs to be supported by a “coherent set of methods and models on the funding, administrative, organisational, service delivery and clinical levels” [1]. The paper considers how fragmentation in financing, planning, funding, and service delivery have contributed to poorly co-ordinated care in New Zealand; discusses how integrated care was to be supported by recent major reforms to the health system and whether such reforms have succeeded or not in achieving more integrated care for service users; and discusses the challenges New Zealand still faces in achieving more integrated care over the next few years.
Discussion and conclusion
The paper concludes that although key financing, planning, funding and service delivery reforms aimed at delivering more integrated care to service users have succeeded in integrating planning and funding functions, few changes have occurred in the ways in which services are provided to users. It is only now that significant attention is being paid to changing how services are actually delivered in order to achieve more integrated care, but even then, change appears to be slow, and significant challenges to integrating care in New Zealand remain to be resolved.
PMCID: PMC3226018  PMID: 22128283
integrated care; health policy; health reforms; New Zealand
2.  "Healthy Eating - Healthy Action": evaluating New Zealand's obesity prevention strategy 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:452.
Background
New Zealand rates of obesity and overweight have increased since the 1980s, particularly among indigenous Māori people, Pacific people and those living in areas of high deprivation. New Zealand's response to the obesity epidemic has been The Healthy Eating-Healthy Action: Oranga Kai - Oranga Pumau (HEHA) Strategy ('the Strategy'), launched in 2003. Because the HEHA Strategy explicitly recognises the importance of evaluation and the need to create an evidence base to support future initiatives, the Ministry of Health has commissioned a Consortium of researchers to evaluate the Strategy as a whole.
Methods
This paper discusses the Consortium's approach to evaluating the HEHA Strategy. It includes an outline of the conceptual framework underpinning the evaluation, and describes the critical components of the evaluation which are: judging to what extent stakeholders were engaged in the process of the strategy implementation and to what extent their feedback was incorporated in to future iterations of the Strategy (continuous improvement), to what extent the programmes, policies, and initiatives implemented span the target populations and priority areas, whether there have been any population changes in nutrition and/or physical activity outcomes or behaviours relating to those outcomes, and to what extent HEHA Strategy and spending can be considered value for money.
Discussion
This paper outlines our approach to evaluating a complex national health promotion strategy. Not only does the Evaluation have the potential to identify interventions that could be adopted internationally, but also the development of the Evaluation design can inform other complex evaluations.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-452
PMCID: PMC2795756  PMID: 19961625
3.  Reforming primary health care: is New Zealand's primary health care strategy achieving its early goals? 
Background
In 2001, the New Zealand government introduced its Primary Health Care Strategy (PHCS), aimed at strengthening the role of primary health care, in order to improve health and to reduce inequalities in health. As part of the Strategy, new funding was provided to reduce the fees that patients pay when they use primary health care services in New Zealand, to improve access to services and to increase service use. In this article, we estimate the impact of the new funding on general practitioner and practice nurse visit fees paid by patients and on consultation rates. The analyses involved before-and-after monitoring of fees and consultation rates in a random sample of 99 general practices and covered the period from June 2001 (pre-Strategy) to mid-2005.
Results
Fees fell particularly in Access (higher need, higher per capita funded) practices over time for doctor and nurse visits. Fees increased over time for many in Interim (lower need, lower per capita funded) practices, but they fell for patients aged 65 years and over as new funding was provided for this age group. There were increases in consultation rates across almost all age, funding model (Access or Interim), socio-demographic and ethnic groups. Increases were particularly high in Access practices.
Conclusion
The Strategy has resulted in lower fees for primary health care for many New Zealanders, and consultation rates have also increased over the past few years. However, fees have not fallen by as much as expected in government policy given the amount of extra public money spent since there are limited requirements for practices to reduce patients' fees in line with increases in public funding for primary care.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-5-24
PMCID: PMC2588611  PMID: 18990236

Results 1-3 (3)