Health Minister David Clark says a new report on his Ministry is an indictment of the neglect and under-resourcing by the former government.
The Performance Improvement Framework review of the Ministry was released by the State Services Commission today.
Dr Clark said it paints a picture of a Ministry needing support to provide stronger leadership and governance.
The release of the 85-page report comes after the resignation of the Ministry's head, Chai Chuah, on Monday.
The Ministry achieved a "weak" rating in numerous areas, notably fiscal sustainability in health; implementing the Health Strategy; improving health outcomes; collaboration and partnerships; operations, and in leadership, governance, values, behaviour and culture.
Other areas, including workforce development, were rated as needing development.
It also says health boards have increasingly struggled to deliver services within budget, with many in deficit.
Mr Hughes said the Ministry's relationship within the sector is fundamental to its ability to provide strong leadership across the system.
He said it needs to improve and urgently.
He added getting that relationship right is the highest priority for the Ministry.