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Record elective surgery tops Q4 health results

Record elective surgery tops Q4 health results

The national health target results for the final quarter of the 2010/11 year show record numbers of kiwi patients accessing elective surgery, among other improvements in key areas of the public health service.

Health Minister Tony Ryall released the quarterly results today and says, "DHBs delivered more than 145,000 elective surgery discharges in the last financial year, that's 26,000 more than only three years ago.

"500 extra patients a week are now getting elective surgery. That means more people are getting the operations they need" said Mr Ryall.

The overall health target results are particularly pleasing given the difficult year the Canterbury region has faced due to the impact of the earthquakes.

Other highlights in the latest results are:

* In the child preventive health target, a record 90 per cent of two year olds are now immunized, which is up from only 73% three years ago.

* All cancer patients ready for radiation treatment started treatment within four weeks except at the Christchurch cancer centre where one patient waited three days longer than target as a result of earthquakes.

* 92 per cent of emergency department patients were admitted, discharged or transferred within six hours. 14 DHBs are now over 90%. This includes Waitemata DHB's North Shore Hospital...that was at 61% only 2 years ago. All evidence shows better treatment and recovery for patients seen sooner in EDs.

* 85 per cent of smokers were offered support to quit smoking, compared with 74 per cent in quarter three. Lakes DHB becomes the first to hit 100% in this preventive health target.

* The composite target for better diabetes and cardiovascular services is down 1 per cent to 72 percent. However the general trend is improving.

"The national health targets have been instrumental in supporting our doctors and nurses to provide even better care for patients. The targets focus on key areas of public interest around timeliness, quality and prevention.

"There's still room for improvement by a number of DHBs and the National Health Board will continue working closely with them."

A copy of the results is available at

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