District Health Boards (DHBs)
New Zealanders receive healthcare through a mixture of private and publicly funded services. The public healthcare system is primarily funded through general taxation and is therefore only available to NZ residents.
Twenty DHBs are responsible for providing or funding the provision of Health and Disability Services of their district. Funding is allocated via a population based formula by the ministry of Health. This includes funding for primary care, public health services, aged care, and services provided by other non- government health providers, including Maori and Pacific Providers.
Each DHB is responsible for ensuring healthcare in their district meets the standards and goals set by the Ministry of Health which includes:
- improving, promoting and protecting the health of the people in their community
- promoting the integration of health services, especially primary and secondary care services
- seeking the optimum arrangement for the most effective and efficient delivery of health services in order to meet local needs
- promoting effective care or support of those in need of personal health services or disability support.
DHB’s range in population size from approximately 30,000 at the smallest to over 500,000 at the largest. There are currently 220 hospitals (private and public) in New Zealand.
DHB’s and Public Academic Tertiary Institutions have a research office or similar. The research offices facilitate close working relationships between researchers, clinical staff, ethics committees, funding bodies and commercial sponsors. These offices act as the central entry point for the approval of research and ensures that the local DHB’s and/or institutions governing policies and procedure are adhered to.