23 November 2009

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) welcomes publication of DHB performance measures but criticised the unacceptably variable results that highlight concerning inconsistencies in health delivery across New Zealand.

"All patients should be having their health targets, as set by the Government, uniformly met, no matter where they live," said NZMA Chairman Dr Peter Foley.
"The range of figures released today show yet again the problems of having 21 autonomous DHBs in a country of four million people."

"Some of the levels achieved by individual DHBs are commendable, but the inconsistency is unacceptable."

"New Zealanders' access to health care continues to vary substantially according to where they live. If we take immunisation for example, the figures range between 94% and 65%. The lower figures in some DHBs are concerning and show a failure to protect children in some parts of the country. We need much greater national consistency."

Dr Foley said: "The recent announcements by the Government of changes to the health structure should provide much-needed central coordination of health services, but we must find ways to ensure national consistency."

"We support publishing these results which is a very positive move. The NZMA will be closely watching for improvements as these figures are released every quarter."