New Zealand Health Sector Embarks on Major ICT Overhaul to Enhance Care Delivery


  • New Zealand’s health sector is consolidating ICT systems into fewer, more robust platforms and transitioning to cloud-based services to improve healthcare delivery.
  • Te Whatu Ora enhances cybersecurity and data management by standardizing data collection and implementing the National Data Platform.
  • The government invests in AI and genomics to boost health system efficiency and enable early disease detection and management.

New Zealand’s health administration, led by Te Whatu Ora and Health Minister Dr. Shane Reti, has unveiled a strategic plan to drastically improve data and technology capabilities while simplifying the country’s ICT infrastructure. This is a bold step toward revolutionizing the country’s healthcare system. By tackling systemic issues for a long time, this effort will open the door for more effective and integrated models of treatment.

The health sector’s current landscape is marred by a “patchwork” of over 4,000 clinical and business system applications, many of which are nearing obsolescence without viable backup solutions. This fragmentation across 28 different settings has led to a lack of integration, varying system quality, and mounting technical debts, posing serious risks to service continuity and data security.

In response, Te Whatu Ora has prioritized consolidating ICT systems into fewer, more robust platforms. This move aims to curb the growth of the proliferation of ICT systems and shift towards more sustainable and secure solutions. This strategic overhaul includes transitioning local ICT systems to cloud-based services cost-effectively, enhancing service resilience, availability, and security.

Cybersecurity and data integration initiatives

Addressing cybersecurity concerns and better data integration are on Te Whatu Ora’s agenda. The agency is working towards standardizing and automating national data collection and establishing national consistency in data management to minimize the risks of breaches. A significant step in this direction was awarding a contract to Accenture to implement the National Data Platform project to unify all health system information. Plans are also in place for developing nationally unified patient information platforms, which will serve individuals, clinicians, and health providers alike.

These measures are expected to safeguard against data breaches and facilitate the seamless sharing and utilization of information across the health sector, enhancing the overall quality of care.

Enhancing ICT capabilities for future care models

With an eye on the future, Te Whatu Ora is committed to elevating its ICT capabilities to support new models of care that bring services closer to patients’ homes. This approach aligns with the broader objectives outlined in the interim Te Pae Tata New Zealand Health Plan 2022, which emphasizes the adoption of digital tools and services, including the implementation of Hira, New Zealand’s national health information platform, and the expansion of virtual after-hours and telehealth services, especially in rural areas.

The government’s investment of nearly a billion dollars since 2021 into the health system’s data and digital infrastructure underscores the importance of adapting to technological advancements and addressing the growing digital risks. The Ministry of Health acknowledges the need for ongoing efforts to make the health system more agile and capable of leveraging new technologies, such as AI and genomics, to improve efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and the sustainability of care delivery.

New Zealand’s health sector is on the brink of a significant transformation, with a strategic plan to streamline ICT systems, enhance cybersecurity and data integration, and adopt advanced technologies to support new care models. The initiative promises to improve service delivery and patient care across the nation by tackling the current system’s inefficiencies and preparing for future challenges.

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Brenda Kanana

Brenda Kanana is an accomplished and passionate writer specializing in the fascinating world of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, NFT, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With a profound understanding of blockchain technology and its implications, she is dedicated to demystifying complex concepts and delivering valuable insights to readers.

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