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Anderton to meet Canterbury DHB

19 January 2004

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader, MP for Wigram Associate Minister of Health

Anderton to meet Canterbury DHB after mixed performance report

The Health Ministry's recent Hospital Benchmark Information report, noted in the Press this morning, gave Canterbury District Health Board (DHB) an overall grade of 'fairly good', but Wigram MP and Associate Minister of Health Jim Anderton is concerned about apparently poor results in triage, day surgery numbers and staff injury rates for Canterbury and plans to request a meeting with the DHB management about those issues.

"The good news is that the Canterbury DHB has been given high ratings for patient satisfaction and has the second lowest hospital acquired infection rates for a large tertiary DHB. However, I am concerned about poor triage rates and a low Daycase Surgery rate. Staff injury rates also seem too high," Jim Anderton said.

Triage rates measure the time taken to prioritise and see to the health or injury problems of patients in our hospital emergency departments.

"I am going to request an urgent meeting with the management of the Canterbury DHB as a Canterbury MP and Associate Minister of Health, to find out how the data collection system works, why Canterbury has received some poor results, what the problems are and how the DHB is planning to address them. I will then work with my colleague the Minister of Health, Annette King to deal with any issues raised by this meeting.

The good news is that the government is already starting to address the Daycase Surgery waiting problems in Canterbury with a proposal to develop the Burwood facility for Daycase Surgery. Other regions like Auckland and Wellington already have dedicated facilities for this purpose.

The Hospital Benchmark Information reporting system was introduced in the year 2000 under the current coalition government. Before its introduction only 8 out of 21 DHBs could give any reliable information on hospital performance. The data collection system is now doing its job collecting information so that we can monitor hospital performance and address problems as they arise.

"International comparisons make it clear that New Zealand public hospital performance ranks amongst the top countries in the world, and well ahead of those in Australia. That's really good news, but we need to work on addressing specific problems and lifting our ranking even further," Jim Anderton, Progressive Leader, MP for Wigram and Associate Minister of Health said.

ENDS

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