The New Zealand Health System Essay

1648 WordsMar 25, 20167 Pages
Health is a complicated concept, and the needs and desires of patients are unique and individual. A national health system needs to meet these desires in the most specific way possible to ensure the best health outcomes for the most people. The goals of the New Zealand health system, as specified in the New Zealand Health Strategy by King in 2000, include providing service that will lead to improved health for all New Zealanders and identified coordination and collaboration between sectors as a major part of this goal. To do this, the New Zealand health system employs gatekeeping. As defined by Bodenheimer & Grumbach (2009), in the healthcare system, gatekeeping refers to the process of determining whether individuals require healthcare beyond the primary level and if so, referring individuals to the specific health services that they require. Primary care involves the basic treatment of common illnesses/medical issues, and is usually performed by an individual’s general practitioner (GP). Uncomplicated but less common illnesses or injuries are treated by specialists at the secondary level (usually in hospitals), and very rare, complicated diseases are treated by subspecialists at the tertiary level. Gatekeeping is done by the first point of contact within the health system and is used in many countries in an attempt to provide structure to the healthcare system and the flow of patients through it (Bodenheimer & Grumbach). As stated by Cumming (2014), the NZ healthcare
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