How to reduce healthcare costs - research Friday, 9 May 2014


Southern Cross Healthcare Group and Massey University are facilitating an invitation-only Think Tank today - where 50 experts in their respective fields will gather in Auckland to propose and discuss pragmatic solutions to New Zealand's growing and unsustainable level of healthcare spending.

Treasury have said the future cost of healthcare is one of the biggest challenges facing New Zealand's economy.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research estimate the country has only around eight years to make a change to historic spending patterns before health costs start to seriously impact the Government's ability to keep the country within budget.

Released today is a research report undertaken by Massey University, which includes input from many of those experts attending the Think Tank. This will form the basis of the day's discussions on workable solutions.

This research found that:

  • Modifying or even reducing demand for healthcare was seen as the single most important strategy to avoid a future funding blowout.
  • Solutions to achieving a reduction in demand included investing in and improving public health education, health literacy and preventative behaviours.
  • There were calls for better integration between primary care and hospital-based services, and greater efficiency of the system as a whole.
  • Politics, at all levels, was overwhelmingly seen as the key barrier to implementing solutions necessary to resolve health funding issues.