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Health Sector Crown Entities

A variety of Crown entities purchase, provide and monitor health services. Delivery is dominated by Crown entities and taxpayer-funded practitioners.

Most of the day-to-day business is administered by District Health Boards (DHBs). There are 20 DHBs in New Zealand. DHBs are responsible for providing, or funding the provision of, government-funded health care services for the population of a specific geographical area. In addition to services delivered from DHB-owned hospitals, their responsibilities include providing funding for primary care, public health services, aged care and for services provided by other non-government health providers.

The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 defines the statutory objectives of DHBs. These include improving, promoting and protecting the health of communities, promoting the integration of health services, especially primary and secondary care services, and promoting effective care or support of those in need of personal health services or disability support.

Other objectives include promoting the inclusion and participation in society and independence of people with disabilities, reducing health disparities by improving health outcomes for Māori and other population groups, and to reduce health outcome disparities between various population groups.

DHBs are expected to show a sense of social responsibility, foster community participation in health improvement, and display the ethics and standards expected of service providers and state sector organisations.

The Ministry of Health oversees the health and disability system and acts as the Government's primary agent. The Ministry has overall responsibility for the management and development of that system. It also acts as the Minister's principal advisor on health policy, and acts as a purchaser, monitoring agent and regulator of health and disability services.

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