New Zealand’s Journey towards People-Centred Care

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Pat Neuwelt
Don Matheson


The choice of words such as consumer, patient, person or people to describe the elemental relationship in health systems has a bearing on the goals that health systems are trying to achieve.  In particular, to engage in a person- centred discussion, in the absence of recognition of the impact on population health, risks losing sight of the fact that health and the access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. The “centre of care” is a contested space, with multiple elements of health systems usurping the position of people as the “centre” of healthcare activity.  Four recent health reforms in New Zealand have impacted on people-centred care. The most recent reform, “Whanau Ora” is a radical re-conceptualisation of health and social support with families occupying the central role.

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Making progress in people-centered care: country experiences


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