28 September 2017

Health was a big issue during the 2017 Election and as political parties debate future health policies as part of coalition negotiations, the NZMA urges them to invest in the health of New Zealanders.

"Too often, the conversation about public health care is framed as a 'cost' to government. This needs to change," says NZMA Chair, Dr Kate Baddock.  "Health spending is an investment in the health, wellbeing and productivity of New Zealanders and ultimately saves money in other sectors.

"Other countries are achieving a return on investment of nearly $5 for every $1 of government spending on health.  Health spending must not be seen as a drain on the economy but rather an opportunity to boost the economy and improve the lives of individuals and their families.

"Success will also require a commitment to address the social determinants of health such as education, housing and poverty," says Dr Baddock.

"Nearly 80 years ago New Zealand led the world when we established a public health care system that made health a universal and fundamental right – it’s time our political leaders invest in that promise."

The NZMA has this week published its position statement Health as an Investment.