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Health services focused on prevention

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

26 August 2014 Media Statement
Health services focused on prevention

The latest National Health Target results show more New Zealanders are getting help to quit smoking and getting checked to see if they are at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says the latest results reflect the government’s strong focus on prevention and improving the health of New Zealanders.

“The great majority of people who die from lung cancer are smokers and the remainder are likely to have been exposed to second-hand smoke. By offering people support to quit smoking we are not only helping to improve their health we are improving the health of those around them,” says Mr Ryall.

“In the past 12 months, over 400,000 patients were offered help to quit smoking by a health practitioner in primary care – this is an outstanding achievement and I would like to thank general practice teams for their hard work.

The latest results also show improvements across four other targets:

• An all-time record high of 161,933 hip, knee and other elective operations were performed this quarter – 6 per cent more than planned
• Every patient ready for cancer treatment received it within the world gold standard of four weeks
• 92 per cent of eight-month olds were fully immunised protecting children from illnesses such as whooping cough
• And there was a 6 per cent increase in the number of people having heart and diabetes checks – over a million checks were completed in the last five years.

“While there will always be room for improvement, latest results show more progress is being made to meet these targets, and help New Zealanders live longer, healthier lives,” says Mr Ryall

A copy of the latest Health Target results is available on the Ministry of Health website.

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