Health ($5.6 billion operating total and $755 million total capital)
Investment in the health sector has never been more critical. To ensure the sector is able to respond to the pandemic while maintaining the sustainable delivery of existing services, Budget 2020 invests significantly in areas that we know will make a difference to the wellbeing of New Zealanders.
Key initiatives in this area (which will also continue to receive further investment through the CRRF) include:
- District Health Board (DHB) Additional Support ($3.9 billion operating total). This represents the largest ever annual investment in DHBs. This initiative provides funding to the 20 DHBs across New Zealand, so they can continue providing essential health services for New Zealand's growing and changing population.
- Maintaining and Increasing the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget ($160 million operating total). This investment provides funding for more medicines through an increase to the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget (the DHB medicines budget managed by PHARMAC). It extends the existing agreed 2020/21 funding level into the future and provides funding to increase the amount of publicly funded medicines available.
- Supporting Disabled New Zealanders to Live Good Lives ($832.5 million operating total). This initiative provides security of funding for services to people with long-term physical, intellectual and/or sensory impairment. It is a direct response to increased demand on Disability Support Services (DSS).
- Continuing Funding for Maternity Services, and Enabling the Implementation of the Maternity Action Plan ($177 million operating total). This investment addresses cost and volume pressures for primary community maternity services to enable ongoing access to free maternity services for New Zealand women, and sets aside funding to begin the implementation of the Maternity Action Plan, which will contribute to improved health outcomes for whānau, better equity of access to responsive services and a stabilised system-wide maternity workforce.
- Increased Capital Investment for DHBs ($750 million total capital). This builds on the record capital investment over the previous two Budgets ($750 million through Budget 2018 and $1.7 billion through Budget 2019, plus $1.4 billion announced for the redevelopment of the Dunedin Hospital), providing a pool of funding that will be used for priority capital projects within the health sector. The funding will support the delivery of safe and appropriate healthcare by providing facilities, infrastructure and technology that can appropriately meet current and future demand.