Single national technology contract to support public health agencies

10 December 2021, Ministry of Health, Wellington, New Zealand

A single national contract to deliver Microsoft services has been negotiated to provide the health and disability system’s new entities with the IT and software services they need, says Ministry of Health Group Manager Digital Strategy and Investment Data and Digital, Darren Douglass.

The deal between the Ministry of Health and Microsoft will support reform of the health and disability system and deliver a number of benefits, including $27 million in savings during the agreement’s three-year term and improvements in the health system’s cyber-security protection and resilience.

The Ministry has contracted Spark Health to execute the Microsoft agreement.

The Microsoft agreement, worth an estimated $45 million annually, will cover the Ministry, Health NZ, Māori Health Authority, and district health boards (DHBs) and their shared service agencies. Taking effect from 12 November 2021, the Ministry will manage both the Microsoft and the Spark Health LSP contracts on behalf of the health sector.

“It makes sense to take a more strategic approach across health agencies as we move to a new operating model for the health and disability system,” says Darren Douglass.

“That way we can get the most value from our investment for the benefit of health care for New Zealanders. Technology is a key enabler for the reforms and these arrangements give Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority the tools they need right from the start.”

Government agencies typically contract individually with Microsoft under a single All-of-Government Head Agreement negotiated by the Department of Internal Affairs every three years.  This agreement was due for renewal this year and as part of the renewal process a health sector-specific variation was negotiated to provide the health sector with additional concessions.  During those negotiations the Ministry of Health and DHB CIOs decided to consolidate Microsoft licence arrangements as part of the renewal process and develop a shared strategic roadmap to maximise value from the investment and ensure consistency in the use of Microsoft technology across health agencies.

“The new contract offers the public greater confidence in the technology systems and services being used across the health and disability system,” says Darren Douglass.  

“No matter where you live, you’ll know that your hospital or other publicly-funded health provider will be able to draw on the best available tools to keep you well. A lot of this technology underpins the digital services provided to primary and community health organisations, so it makes sense to be consistent.”

The agreement also includes the increased deployment of Microsoft cyber security technology across health agencies which will improve protection and resilience to cyberattacks on health systems and services.



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