Good progress on quarterly health targets

  • Jonathan Coleman

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says good progress has been made in the quarterly health targets with improvements across all six areas.

“The health targets are not just about numbers – they are about delivering better faster access to services,” says Dr Coleman.

“The latest quarterly update shows improvements in elective surgery rates, shorter stays in ED, faster cancer treatment, increased immunisation, better help for smokers to quit, and more heart and diabetes checks.

“These results are a credit to health workers throughout New Zealand.

“Progress towards the new faster cancer treatment target improved six per cent, up to 75 per cent - the biggest quarterly increase to date.

“Delivering better cancer services is a top priority for the Government. We’ve made significant progress since 2008 and patients are getting better faster cancer care.

“The more heart and diabetes checks target was met for the second consecutive quarter. Around 1.2 million people have had their cardiovascular disease risk assessed in the past five years.

“The elective surgery target has again been achieved with 98,870 elective surgical discharges provided for the year to date – 4,890 more than planned.  

“The Government is committed to delivering year-on-year increases in elective surgery. We have delivered around 50,000 more surgeries over the last seven years - a 42 per cent increase.”

The results for Quarter Two 2015/16 (October–December) also show:

  • The better help for smokers to quit primary care target covers all PHO enrolled patients. This is the second time the new target has been reported – the national result was 85 per cent, up two per cent.
  • 94 per cent of patients were admitted, discharged or transferred from the ED within six hours, up two per cent on the previous quarter.
  • Immunisation coverage for eight-month-olds increased to 94 per cent.

The new childhood obesity health target will replace the more heart and diabetes checks target from 1 July 2016. Heart and diabetes checks will remain an accountability measure for DHBs to ensure the gains made are not lost.