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Targets Show Healthy Communities In Waitemata

MEDIA RELEASE 12 October 2008

Health Targets Show Healthy Communities In Waitemata DHB

The launch of 2007/2008 results of the Ministry of Health Health Targets reinforces the good health status enjoyed by residents of the North Shore City, Waitakere City and Rodney District.

“Overall we know that the Waitemata DHB population has higher health status and less deprivation compared with many other DHB populations,” said Mr Dave Davies, CEO Waitemata DHB.

According to Ministry and DHB figures - residents of the DHB enjoy the highest life expectancy in New Zealand, are less likely to be smokers, are at less risk of stroke, are less likely to be obese, have low levels of anxiety or depressive disorders and enjoy good overall oral health status.

“What is now particularly pleasing is to show that we have made exceptional achievements in immunisation coverage where the DHB emerged with the highest coverage rates in the Northern Region and with elective services where we achieved an outstanding result with the number of procedures undertaken for our population,” said Dave.

There were only two areas where Waitemata fell short of the targets. One was in respect to the Diabetes Programme ‘Let’s Get Checked’ but correspondingly the target results for those people who were receiving satisfactory diabetes management and who had received retinal screening for their diabetes was rated very high.

“Overall we are very pleased with our results on the diabetes targets and we are working on a number of initiatives to improve uptake with the Get Checked programme which include things such as increased fee-for-service payments and encouraging more nurse led clinics,” he said.

The second was with respect to the target set for relapse prevention plans.

“The difficulty with the target set for the relapse prevention plans is not that we have a low rate of people with such plans, but more that they do not exist as discrete documents that can be readily audited and counted. We feel that what has been counted is therefore an under-representation of people in the DHB with such plans,” said Dave.

“To remedy this we are currently looking at a technological solution to identify and rationalise the current plans, to assess what proportion of people actually have them, and to look at the quality of the plans. We have found that simple numerical measures of how many plans are in place are realtively meaningless, unless associated with some analysis of the quality of content,” he said.

Waitemata DHB has the largest and second fastest growing population of all the DHBs in New Zealand, with a population of 504,700. This is equivalent to 12 per cent of the total population of New Zealand.

ENDS

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