New Zealand is setting up a new National Health Board (NHB) within the Ministry of Health as part of its restructuring of the public health system.

The new NHB will supervise the $7.3bn (NZ$9.7bn) of public health funding the country’s 21 District Health Boards spend on hospitals and primary healthcare, the government said.

The NHB will manage national planning and funding of all IT, workforce planning and capital investment and will also undertake vulnerable health services such as paediatric oncology.

The proposed changes will be set up at an estimated cost of $3.7m (NZ$5m) to $7.5m (NZ$10m) and will result in savings of an estimated $529.5m (NZ$700m) over five years.

About 500 administration jobs will be lost as a result of establishing the NHB, the government said.