Media releases 2014


New research with New Zealand thought leaders how to reduce healthcare costs

Monday, 12 May 2014 by Aimee Bourke

Southern Cross Healthcare Group and Massey University are facilitating an invitation-only Think Tank today – where 50 experts in their respective fields will gather in Auckland to propose and discuss pragmatic solutions to New Zealand’s growing and unsustainable level of healthcare spending.

Treasury have said the future cost of healthcare is one of the biggest challenges facing New Zealand’s economy.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research estimate the country has only around eight years to make a change to historic spending patterns before health costs start to seriously impact the Government’s ability to keep the country within budget.

Released today is a research report undertaken by Massey University, which includes input from many of those experts attending the Think Tank. This will form the basis of the day’s discussions on workable solutions.
This research (attached) found that:

  • Modifying or even reducing demand for healthcare was seen as the single most important strategy to avoid a future funding blowout.
  • Solutions to achieving a reduction in demand included investing in and improving public health education, health literacy and preventative behaviours.
  • There were calls for better integration between primary care and hospital-based services, and greater efficiency of the system as a whole.
  • Politics, at all levels, was overwhelmingly seen as the key barrier to implementing solutions necessary to resolve health funding issues.


Editor’s note:

This research does not claim to represent the view of the entire health sector. Rather, the results reflect insights from interviews with 32 leaders in health governance, health sector businesses, health providers, economists/actuaries, health researchers/academics and others based on their substantial experience within the sector. To ensure independence, this report does not include responses from anyone at Southern Cross Healthcare Group.