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Health equity in the New Zealand health care system: a national survey

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  • Health Equity
  • Global Health
  • Studies
  • Economics
  • Medicine


Health equity in the New Zealand health care system: a national survey RESEARCH Open Access Health equity in the New Zealand health care system: a national survey Nicolette F Sheridan1*, Timothy W Kenealy2, Martin J Connolly3,5, Faith Mahony4, P Alan Barber2,6, Mary Anne Boyd5, Peter Carswell4, Janet Clinton4, Gerard Devlin2,7, Robert Doughty2,6, Lorna Dyall4, Ngaire Kerse4, John Kolbe2,6, Ross Lawrenson2,7 and Allan Moffitt8 Abstract Introduction: In all countries people experience different social circumstances that result in avoidable differences in health. In New Zealand, Māori, Pacific peoples, and those with lower socioeconomic status experience higher levels of chronic illness, which is the leading cause of mortality, morbidity and inequitable health outcomes. Whilst the health system can enable a fairer distribution of good health, limited national data is available to measure health equity. Therefore, we sought to find out whether health services in New Zealand were equitable by measuring the level of development of components of chronic care management systems across district health boards. Variation in provision by geography, condition or ethnicity can be interpreted as inequitable. Methods: A national survey of district health boards (DHBs) was undertaken on macro approaches to chronic condition management with detail on cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, stroke and diabetes. Additional data from expert informant interviews on program reach and the cultural needs of Māori and Pacific peoples was sought. Survey data were analyzed on dimensions of health equity relevant to strategic planning and program delivery. Results are presented as descriptive statistics and free text. Interviews were transcribed and NVivo 8 software supported a general inductive approach to identify common themes. Results: Survey responses were received from the majority of DHBs (15/21), some PHOs (21/84) and 31 expert informants. Measurin

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