Tairawhiti District Health continues good progress on health targets

30 August 2013

­­Tairawhiti District Health continues to make good progress on the government’s six health targets, said chief executive Jim Green, when results were released earlier this week.

“Quarter four results are really encouraging,” said Mr Green.

“People living in Tairawhiti have excellent access to elective surgery, and 95 percent of people who come to Gisborne Hospital’s emergency department are admitted, transferred or discharged in six hours or less. All ready-for-treatment cancer patients wait less than four weeks for radiotherapy or chemotherapy.”

Mr Green said the target around ‘better help for smokers to quit’ was two-pronged. Tairawhiti District Health is meeting the hospital-based target – ninety-five percent of patients who smoke and are seen by a health practitioner at Gisborne Hospital are being offered brief advice to quit.

“We are working with health professionals in primary care – GP practices and other health providers – to ensure the same questions are being asked of smokers when they present in those environments,” said Mr Green.

“At the moment 54 percent of patients are being asked about smoking, up from 47 percent last quarter and 42 percent the quarter before that. That steady improvement from our community-based health partners is very encouraging. ”

Mr Green said significant improvements had also been made in primary care for the target of ‘more heart and diabetes checks’. The current target is for 75 percent of the eligible population to have had their cardiovascular risk assessment in the last five years.

“In Tairawhiti, a lot of work has gone into this target and we are now sitting at 68 percent. Last quarter we achieved 63% and the improvement is again a reflection of the partnership between the DHB and our community-based health partners.”

Mr Green said the health partnerships across Tairawhiti had also contributed to the DHB achieving the immunisation target.

“The current target is for 85 percent of eight-month-olds to receive their primary course of immunisations on time.

“Tairawhiti achieved 89 percent this quarter so I’m confident if we keep working together this way, we’ll achieve the next target of 90 percent well before the deadline of July 2014. This is a great effort by our immunisation teams across the district, and good news for the future health of children of Tairawhiti.”

Tairawhiti District Health Board chair David Scott said the 2013/14 Quarter 4 results indicated local patients were benefitting from the ministerial targets.

But Mr Scott said patients could also take additional responsibility for their own health.

“When you’re at your GP, you should ask about whether your heart and diabetes checks have been done in the last five years. Statistics in Tairawhiti show many of us delay going to the doctor for a check-up, especially when we have suspicious symptoms. By the time we get to the doctor, it’s often too late… because the disease state is very advanced.”

Nationally four health targets have been met this quarter:

  • Improved access to elective surgery target (107% against a target of 100%)
  • Shorter waits for cancer treatment (100% against a target of 100%)
  • Increased immunisation (90% against a target of 85%)
  • Better help for smokers to quit hospital target (96% against a target of 95%).

All DHBs achieved the cancer and electives health targets and 18 DHB achieved the immunisation and tobacco hospital targets. Over the past 12 months, DHBs have delivered 10,000 more elective surgical discharges than planned.

See also:

Tairawhiti District Health Board 2012/13 Quarter 4 Health Target results

2012/13 Quarter 4 Health Target FAQs

For more information:

Kathy McVey, Communications Manager

06 869-0500 ext 8115   or   021 223-7094