Health Strategy and Planning

Health Strategy and Planning
Our health priority areas, strategies and consultations

The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2010 (NZPHD Act) requires DHBs to address local, regional, and national needs.  The strategic direction and plans of Southern DHB are influenced by local needs but also regional South Island needs through collaboration and planning via the South Island Regional Health Services Plan and the South Island DHB Alliance, the regional decision making and accountability alliance framework. 

Southern DHB undertakes an ongoing cycle of planning to identify how we will purchase and deliver health services and implement national, regional (South Island) and local health strategies, to best meet local health needs and improve our population's health status.


Southern DHB receives around $900 million of government funding per annum. About half of that funding is used to purchase traditional hospital and mental health services.

The remaining half of our funding is used to purchase a wide range of services from primary care and  community health providers, through contracts with the DHB. The range of providers include pharmacies, laboratories, Primary Health Organisations (GPs, practice nurses), aged residential care providers, dental providers, rural hospitals, Pacific Islands and Māori health providers and non-government mental health organisations.


Our planning is strongly influenced by the findings of the  Health Needs Assessment (a Health Profile of our local population) together with government policy and strategy, the Minister of Health's DHB Health Targets, and the South Island regional priorities which shape and guide the direction of the DHB's funding priority areas and our strategic and operational planning activity 

Each year the Minister of Health and the Ministry of Health affirm the key national strategic priorities for the health sector through the Minister's letter of expectations and the Health Targets respectively.

The South Island Health Services Plan (HSP) is the collective strategic direction for the five South Island DHBs for the next three to five years.  Each year the South Island DHBs prepare a supplementary SIHSP Implementation Plan has a one to three year focus and details how DHBs are collaboratively working together to plan and implement change. 

Southern DHB is required to produce an Annual Plan (with Statement of Intent). The DHBs Annual Plan brings together all of the national, regional and local priorities and issues, with details of the strategic direction, delivering on the priorities and targets, and how we will measure our achievement.  The Annual Plan has to be approved by the Minster of Health.

Health Strategies:

Outside the core planning and accountability documents, the DHB and Ministry of Health also produce strategies and plans for specific areas and objectives.

For example, a national childhood immunisation schedule helps protect our population from a number of diseases. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation programme aims to protect girls and young women from cervical cancer. Subsidised General Practitioner (GP) fees seek to encourage people to access health advice early on when they become unwell, rather than waiting until they are very sick and may require more complex health treatment. 

This planning work is led by Southern DHB's Strategy, Primary and Community team.