A new health system is being introduced to ensure work on the Government's big overhaul of the public healthcare service is on track.
The announcement of the new initiative - dubbed the Health System Indicators framework - was made by Health Minister Andrew Little this morning.
The indicators will complement the Government's reforms that have already been made public - including the disestablishment of the 20 district health boards and their replacement with a new national system with a stronger focus on primary healthcare.
"The indicators are a new way of thinking. They are not about incentivising with funding or pointing the finger if targets are not met. They are neither a carrot nor a stick," Little said.
"They are a measure of how well our health system is functioning across the country and an opportunity to then create local solutions to address local health needs."
Little said the framework would help the health sector focus on areas that most need improvement - particularly for Māori and Pasifika peoples.
A total of 12 indicators have been developed to identify whether or not work is being met. The indicators are based on the Government's six priorities for health, Little said.
They are: Improving child wellbeing, improving mental wellbeing, improving wellbeing through preventative measures, creating a strong and equitable public health system, better primary healthcare and a financially sustainable health system."
A statement from Little's office said the framework recognises that local problems require local solutions.
"This means the actions developed to improve performance on each of the high-level indicators will vary across the country to reflect the unique challenges and needs of each community and any barriers preventing equitable access to services."
The emphasis is on continuous improvement at a local level - rather than focusing attention on achieving nationally-set performance targets, the statement said.
The indicators will be publicly reported on every three months.
What are the 12 indicators?
Government priority: Improving child wellbeing:
Indicators: Immunisation rates for children at 24 months. Ambulatory sensitive hospitalisations for children (age range 0-4).
Government priority: Improving mental wellbeing:
Indicators: Under 25s able to access specialist mental health services within three weeks of referral. Access to primary mental health and addiction services.
Government priority: Improving wellbeing through prevention:
Indicators: Ambulatory sensitive hospitalisations for adults (age range 45-64).
Government priority: Strong and equitable public health system:
Indicators: Acute hospital bed day rate. Access to planned care.
Government priority: Better primary healthcare:
Indicators: People report they can get primary care when they need it. People report being involved in the decisions about their care and treatment.
Government priority: Financially sustainable health system:
Indicators: Annual surplus/deficit at financial year end. Variance between planned budget and year end actuals.