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Health & Aged Care

Demand for healthcare is ever-increasing, including the growing need for facilities and services to care for our ageing population. This demand, coupled with dramatic reform of the public health system, will create opportunities and challenges over coming years.

Our national, multidisciplinary team combines legal expertise with a deep understanding of the changing regulatory environment in the health and aged care sectors.

Public healthcare

The way Aotearoa New Zealand's health system is structured and health services are delivered has changed. The new health care reforms, implemented on 1 July 2022, saw public healthcare in New Zealand replaced at a whole of system level. The changes have wide ranging consequences requiring legal advice across many areas including employment, commercial contracts, and infrastructure.

Our team of specialist lawyers can assist organisations operating in this sector adapt to these changes. And our work within the Māori health sector allows us to work with organisations looking to improve services and achieve equitable health outcomes for hauora Māori.

Private health and aged care

While private healthcare providers were not directly affected by the new heath reforms, indirect effects arising from changes to funding and organisation will likely occur such as issues around outsourcing of services to private healthcare providers.

Within the aged care sector, we assist clients with key strategic issues. These include facility development, customer acquisition, compliance and staff management.

How we can help

We advise on all legal issues relevant to the public and private healthcare sectors, including:

  • health strategy and public policy
  • regulatory compliance and governance
  • procurement and commercial contracts (eg facilities and management contracts)
  • employment and health and safety
  • Covid-19 (eg health and safety and mandatory vaccination issues)
  • finance and funding
  • technology procurement
  • data protection and privacy
  • construction projects
  • property transactions and management
  • mergers and acquisitions.

Examples of our work

Public sector

  • District Health Boards: we advise a number of northern region DHBs on a range of matters, including:
    • Auckland DHB - advising on employment law and health and safety matters
    • Waitematā DHB - advising on employment law matters and construction projects including the new Tōtara Haumaru project at North Shore Hospital and the redevelopment of the Mason Clinic
    • Counties Manukau DHB - advising on employment, privacy and public law issues
    • drafting and advising on governing documentation for a shared services company across DHBs
  • Ministry of Health - advising on public law and employment issues

Private sector

  • Southern Community Laboratories (SCL)/HealthScope (now Asia Pacific Healthcare Group) - advice in relation to collective bargaining and industrial action in 2021
  • Healthcare Holdings (including Ascot Hospital and Clinics) - range of corporate and commercial advice
  • Southern Cross Hospital Medical Care Society - general employment advice
  • Pathology Associates - contracts for the provision of laboratory services with several DHB services in New Zealand and general advice
  • Tāmaki Health Group - advising on its partnership with Mercury Capital and a number of acquisitions
  • Skin Institute - new investment/shareholder, shareholder arrangements
  • Canopy Cancer Care - general corporate and strategic advice
  • Auckland Radiation Oncology - advising on a joint venture between Mercy Ascot Hospitals and Southern Cross Hospitals for the delivery of the country’s first private radiation oncology unit

Aged care

  • Heritage Lifecare - advising on a range of corporate and commercial matters, including the acquisition of care homes and retirement villages
  • Metlifecare - advising on commercial property developments
  • Craigs Investment Partners, Jarden Partners and Macquarie Securities - $301 million block trade of shares in Oceania Healthcare
  • Craigs Investment Partners, First NZ Capital, Forsyth Barr and Macquarie Capital - $155 million block trade of Quadrant Private Equity's residual holding in Summerset Group
  • Advising Bupa on various issues arising on its various construction contracts, including on the Acacia Cove, Ascot Villas, Mary Shapley, Broadview and Liston Heights aged care / retirement village projects
  • Resident and offering documentation - advice on resident facing documentation including preparing template disclosure documents and occupation right agreements for use under the Retirement Villages Act 2003
  • A large luxury retirement village operator - advising on its global re-organisation; new investor advice; refinance of the group's Australian and New Zealand bank facilities and mezzanine finance; and construction funding for a boutique retirement village