Well over $1 billion of DHB’s funding nationwide is for non-acute medical or surgical care, which is defined as health care that is provided more than 24 hours after a decision to proceed with treatment.

Previously, this non-acute care was named elective services.

However, that approach was too narrowly focused on procedures performed in hospitals.

A broader approach is needed to improve people’s health and wellbeing, and to better meet the priorities of achieving equity and sustainability for the health and disability system.

The new approach has five strategic priorities:

  1. Understanding health need – both in terms of access to services and health preferences, with a focus on understanding inequities that we can change
  2. Balancing national consistency and local context – ensuring consistently excellent care, regardless of where you are or where you are treated
  3. Simplifying pathways for service users – providing a seamless health journey, with a focus on providing consumer-centred care in the most appropriate setting
  4. Optimising sector capacity and capability – optimising capacity, reducing demand on hospital services and intervening at the most appropriate time
  5. Fit for the future – planning and implementing system support for long term performance and improvement.


Planned Care will better enable DHBs to provide more timely care in the most appropriate settings with the right workforce, including services that can be delivered in primary care and community settings.

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