The year ahead: Chief Executive’s afterword

Twelve months into a four-year strategy and with the findings from an independent review imminent, Chief Executive Sarah Fitt considers what challenges we’re facing and what is in store for 2022.

Kia ora kotou,

As Chief Executive of Pharmac, I get to reflect on the work undertaken by each of our teams, celebrate our successes, and represent those achievements as we report our progress to the Board and the public. We have a clear mandate, but our work is not simple. We must stay mindful of the challenges we face as an organisation and think ahead as we plan for the future.

We recognise the ongoing changes and challenges in our operating environment: population changes, the burden of chronic diseases, increasing our consumer involvement, changes in technology and the wider health sector, the outcome of the independent review. And we know that the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt for some time.

We recognise the ongoing changes and challenges in our operating environment: the Government’s health reforms, population changes, the burden of chronic diseases, increasing our consumer involvement, changes in technology and the wider health sector, the outcome of the independent review. And we know that the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt for some time.Through all of this, we will continue to work with suppliers, the health sector, consumer groups, wider government agencies, and our many partners and stakeholders to ensure

New Zealanders can access the medicines and medical devices they need. And, of course, we will continue to make more funded medicines available for more New Zealanders.

Making it easier for the public to understand the funding decisions and the work we do is critical to us improving our decisions and processes. And we will continue to make more funded medicines available for more New Zealanders.

Building on the work we did this year – particularly more transparency of our funding lists – in 2022, we’re making enhancements to our online channels, increasing our stakeholder engagement, continuing to upskill our staff in te Tiriti and their written communications, and rolling out a new suite of analytical tools and reports.

We are ensuring our internal processes are increasingly streamlined and transparent. We will improve our approach to commercial strategies, incorporating public preferences into our decision making, and upgrading the tools and technologies we use to support the work.

We know that there will be substantial changes to the way the health and disability sector is structured and operates. Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority, two new agencies, will be established in 2022.

We’re already working with the transition team and are excited to start new relationships with both agencies and work alongside them in the future.

Despite the uncertainties of a sector faced with change, our own Ministerial expectations are for us to continue the path we are on. We’ve been asked to keep working on the key priorities and areas already outlined in our current Statement of Intent. We will continue to make progress on giving effect to te Tiriti o Waitangi.

In 2022, we anticipate making significant improvements to how we fund access to medical devices. Building on our milestone of reaching 60 percent of the nationally contracted list this year, by late 2022, we expect to have the draft policies and processes ready to move to the next level of our work. We are getting a clear sense of the magnitude of the change for public hospitals and will understand the implementation activity required to put this in place.

The next 12 months will be busy. Our work programme is ambitious – but it’s needed in response to the challenges we face, as Pharmac and as a key part of the New Zealand health and disability sector.

Noho ora ma

Sarah Fitt
Chief Executive