Ministry of Health (New Zealand)

Ministry Of Health (New Zealand)

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Ministry of Health (New Zealand)

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The Ministry of Health (Manatū Hauora in Māori), formerly the Department of Health from 1903 to 1993, is a department of the New Zealand government. This is the channel through which the government channels its funding for health services, VOTE: Health.

The ministry is overseen by the Minister of Health in the New Zealand government cabinet. The current Minister of Health is Tony Ryall.


The Department of Health was formed in 1903 by the merging of other government departments. Its structure remained relatively static even the 1938 Social Security Act where the New Zealand government took a larger role in health purchasing. The department remained actively involved in policy as opposed to purchasing.

By the 1970s problems had appeared in the health system. The high growth rate in hospital expenditure was occurring at a time when the economy was slowing down. Thus, the government was unable to sustain funding this growth.

This led the health system to undergo a series of changes over a 20 year period from the 1980s. During the 1990s the National government attempted to stream-line the system in a series of reforms such as separating the government purchasing and provision of health care services. During this time the department was renamed as the Ministry of Health.

Current role

The Labour-Alliance coalition government redefined the role of the Ministry of Health as part of Labour's election promises in the 1999 election.

The separate government health service...
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