Implications of New Zealand’s Primary Health Care Policies for Management and Leadership
Introduction: Reforms have been introduced since 2000 to make New Zealand’s health system primary care-led. A competent health management workforce is necessary to provide leadership for the goals of the reforms to be realised.
Aim and objective : To review New Zealand’s key primary health care policies from 2000 to 2016 and consider their implications for management and leadership.
Methods : A document analysis was undertaken using qualitative content analysis. Eligible documents were identified through the websites of relevant government and non-government agencies, World Health Organisation, and through Google Scholar.
Findings :Two key policy trends relating to primary health care were identified. Firstly, a population health orientation to improve access to health care through community participation, and secondly, an integrated approach to promote collaboration within the health system, and between the health system and other sectors. The inferred management and leadership skillsets required to realise these policies included relationship management and collaboration, change management, and leadership.
Conclusion: New Zealand’s primary health care sector underwent substantial reform between 2000 and 2016. Management and leadership capabilities need to be strengthened and developed for the benefits of the reforms to be realised.