Economics, News, Policy

Ministry of Health renews its commitment to health promotion

    In a consultation draft published this month, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has renewed its commitment to health promotion as one of five core functions for public health.  It is inviting submissions on the service specification by 16 May.   In the Public Health Service Health Promotion Tier Two Service Specification, published by the National Health Board Business Unit, the MoH emphasised the importance of tackling the factors that determine health:  “Because of the focus on determinants of health, there should be less focus on the activities in personal knowledge and skills section, and a move toward approaches such as health in all policies,” it says.   The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF) welcomed this new emphasis.  “It is encouraging to see the Ministry recognise the foundations of health promotion in the social factors that determine the hauora of an individual, community or population,” says HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.  “We will certainly be putting forward a submission to the Ministry to encourage this crucial approach to hauora and would encourage all organisations in health promotion to do the same.”   As the National leaders in health promotion, HPF has 25 years’ experience in the area; providing training and capacity-building to thousands of individuals and organisations. Tu’itahi continues:  “Health promotion is most effective when all five strands of the Ottawa charter are applied in an integrated way.  HPF would love to work alongside the Ministry to help it gain the best outcome from this crucial work here in Aotearoa New Zealand.”   As part of the Ministry’s greater focus on the health inequity and the social determinants of health, Health Minister Hon Tony Ryall recently announced a proposed new initiative Healthy Families New Zealand.  See our news article about the initiative here.   The consultation document is part of a review of public health service specifications.     Jo Lawrence-King 18 March 2014