Delivering for New Zealand
We are making major investments in rebuilding the health sector…
At the Half Year Update, core Crown operating expenditure on health for 2019/20 was forecast to be $3.1 billion higher than 2016/17 - an increase of 19.4 per cent over three years. In Budget 2019 we committed to investing another $4.4 billion operating expenditure over the forecast period. This increase to operating expenditure in Budget 2019 was the highest percentage increase in a decade. Of this additional investment, $2.9 billion went to District Health Boards (DHBs) to allow them to continue to provide their communities with essential health services.
Figure 3 - Core Crown health operating expenditure
Source: The Treasury
Budget 2019 included $1.7 billion in new capital funding for health, in addition to the $750 million allocated in Budget 2018. This $2.5 billion investment over three years compares to $827 million in total over the nine years of the previous Government.
Taking mental health seriously was a Budget Priority in the Wellbeing Budget 2019. The Government committed an additional $1.9 billion for mental health. This investment is being used to:
- Establish a new primary mental health service
- Establish the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission
- Support and enhance acute mental health and addiction services
- Enhance mental health support for people in the justice system
- Expand and improve initiatives to prevent suicide.
We are committed to ensuring primary health care is affordable for all New Zealanders. In the previous two Budgets we invested a total of $491.9 million to make GP visits cheaper for 600,000 New Zealanders, provide free GP visits for under-14 year olds, and keep fees stable for all New Zealanders.
Our investments over the past two years have allowed us to begin rebuilding the health workforce after years of neglect. Since this Government came into office there are now 1,699 more nurses, 677 more doctors, 105 more midwives and 594 more allied health workers. According to Ministry of Health information this is the largest recorded health workforce.