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Government axes National Health Targets

Sarah Dowie - Government axes National Health Targets


26 June 2018

The Government’s quiet shelving of National Health Targets is bad news for Southland says local MP, Sarah Dowie.


“It is outrageous that the Government has done away with the targets which include a set of six major indicators, which measured DHB’s throughput in surgeries, cancer treatment, Emergency Department waiting times and childhood immunisations, as well as B4 School checks and help for smokers to quit.

“Just as they scrapped National Standards within education, they have done away the Health Targets that ensure public reporting of DHB’s performance with no plan of how to effectively manage and monitor the healthcare of New Zealanders.

“National Health Targets were never designed to put pressure on DHBs – they were designed to be an indicator of performance. DHB funding is taxpayer money, and they need to be accountable for taxpayer funding. The ridiculous dispensing of these targets will lead to the drift of the nine years of the Clark Government where significant amounts of money was put into the health sector but surgeries went down and waiting times went up.

“Operating budgets are not bottomless pits. If we don’t know the numbers behind surgeries, or childhood immunisations, how can we expect our healthcare system to run efficiently?

“The delivery of sustainable, high quality healthcare provided by Southern DHB to constituents of Southland has been an ongoing matter and the removal of these targets means performance assessments become harder and unquantifiable. This means constituents complaints about the delivery of healthcare in the region for example, waitlists and timeframes may be undermined. Southlanders deserve better.

“Minister Clark needs to realise that you cannot effectively operate healthcare systems on anecdotal evidence.”

ENDS

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