Andrew Little. (Photo: Twitter/@AndrewLittleMP). Image Source: IANS News

Wellington, April 21 : New Zealand Health Minister Andrew Little on Wednesday said that putting a greater emphasis on primary healthcare and ensuring fairer access for all the citizens are the two main drivers of health sector reforms.

"We are going to put the emphasis squarely on primary and community healthcare and will do away with duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy between regions, so that our health workers can do what they do best - keep people well," Little said in a statement.

The reforms will mean that for the first time, New Zealand will have a truly national health system, and the kind of treatment people get will no longer be determined by where they live, he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The reforms will see all 20 district health boards replaced with a new national entity, Health New Zealand, which will be responsible for running hospitals and commissioning primary and community health services. It will have four regional divisions, the Minister said.

Responsibility for public health issues will rest with a new Public Health Authority, and a new Maori Health Authority will monitor the state of Maori health and have the ability to commission services directly, he said.

The system will be overseen by a strengthened Ministry of Health, which will also advise the government on policy matters, Little added.

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