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Health Minister Launches Public Health Observatory

28 May 2002

Health Minister Annette King today launched the New Zealand Public Health Observatory, which will provide timely, high quality health information for the health sector and the public.

"Easily accessible maps, tables and statistics with a range of health information may be viewed and downloaded from the New Zealand Public Health Observatory (NZPHO) website," said Ms King.

"Planning and decision-making across the health sector will be better informed by this website, and anyone interested in the health of New Zealanders will be able to access useful information."

Ms King said in recent years, health systems around the world have collected enormous quantities of data about people and their health.

"We collect data on causes of death, we record the medical conditions for which New Zealanders are hospitalised, and we have had a national cancer register since 1948," she said.

The Ministry of Health's Public Health Intelligence group have developed the NZPHO with the help of the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR), New Zealand Health Information Service, and Eagle Technology Ltd.

The NZPHO displays the occurrence and patterns of disease throughout New Zealand using mortality data, hospital discharges and cancer registrations.

This is the beginning of a population-monitoring infrastructure and the next phase of the project will publish national information on access to health services, notifiable communicable diseases and water quality.

"We want to provide timely, high quality information about the health status of New Zealanders to all who can benefit from it," said Ms King.

"The NZPHO will help us achieve this objective."

See the New Zealand Public Health Observatory: www.nzpho.govt.nz

Ends

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