Health Services Manager Kaiwhakahaere Ratonga Hauora

Health services managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of a hospital, primary health organisation (PHO), clinic or community health service.

Health services managers may do some or all of the following:

  • provide direction and management for their service
  • ensure their service meets government health policy requirements and local health needs
  • prepare, manage and review budgets
  • recruit, manage and coach staff
  • prepare reports for the board of directors
  • develop and review strategic plans and policies
  • liaise with other health providers, district health boards and funding bodies
  • lead public education campaigns about current health issues
  • advise government organisations about measures to improve public health
  • consult iwi and other local groups to ensure patent services are culturally appropriate
  • prepare funding applications to district health boards and the Ministry of Health for new services.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for health services managers includes:

  • related health work such as nursing
  • management.

Personal Qualities

Health services managers need to be:

  • good decision-makers and problem-solvers
  • good communicators
  • able to work well under pressure
  • adaptable and open to new ideas
  • able to provide leadership.


Health services managers need to have:

  • knowledge of health systems and services
  • knowledge of the regulations and laws relevant to their organisation
  • management and budgeting skills
  • strong planning and organisational ability
  • the ability to analyse statistical information and government reports.


Health services managers:

  • work regular office hours, but may also need to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines
  • usually work at hospitals, community health service centres, clinics and rest homes
  • may travel to attend meetings and conferences, or visit other hospitals.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include accounting, economics, health education and mathematics.

Health Services Managers can earn around $65K-$125K per year.

Pay for health services managers varies depending on experience and qualifications.

  • Graduate health services managers usually start on about $65,000 to $80,000 a year.
  • Health services managers with four to five years' experience usually earn between $90,000 and $125,000.
  • Experienced health services managers with a postgraduate qualification can earn up to $245,000.
  • Senior health services executives can earn more than $400,000.

Sources: ACHSM - New Zealand Branch Council, interview, September 2020; New Zealand District Health Boards, ‘Senior Medical and Dental Officers Collective Agreement, 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021’, 2020; and Resident Doctors Association and 20 District Health Boards, ’Multi Employer Collective Agreement 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2021’, 2020.

Health services managers may progress to become senior managers or chief executives.

Health services managers may specialise in:

  • Māori health care
  • mental health
  • health care for people with disabilities
  • design, development and management of health information technology systems
  • primary care such as general practice management
  • managing non-governmental health organisations
  • human resources.

Years Of Training

3-5 years of training usually required.

To become a health services manager you usually need to have a postgraduate qualification in health management, such as a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Management or Master of Business Administration.

Professional qualifications in other relevant areas such as accounting, human resources, education, or information technology may also be useful.

Health services managers need to have experience in management or health services, in addition to their professional qualification.

Qualification route for doctors specialising in medical administration

Doctors who wish to specialise in medical administration need to complete:

  • a medical degree
  • a minimum of three years of clinical experience
  • an application, specialist training and an examination to become a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.
Health Services Manager