ED wait times among health targets “scrapped” in Budget documents

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
May 26, 2023 |

The National Party has accused the Government of scrapping vital health targets while the health sector remains in crisis.

Labour has discontinued more than 60 performance measures in the Budget including emergency department wait times and some cancer treatment targets.

National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti said “Labour is hiding from accountability by discontinuing a number of health performance measures in this year’s Budget.

 “One of Labour’s first moves when it came into office was to remove the focus on National’s Better Public Services targets, which included shorter wait times in hospital emergency departments and faster cancer treatment.  

“Since Labour removed targets, the national average of patients being seen within six hours in emergency departments has dropped from 91 per cent when National left office in 2017, to 71 per cent.  First specialist appointment and surgical wait lists have also reached record highs.”

Dr Reti said “while Labour continues to fail the health sector and is distracted by ideological health reforms, a National government will deliver.

“National will reinstate lifesaving health targets and prioritise building our health workforce by paying nurses’ and midwives’ student loan repayments if they enter a bonding agreement of five years, and by making New Zealand a more attractive destination for international nurses.

“National will fix the economy so that we can invest in our front line staff, to give them the resources they need to deliver better health outcomes for all New Zealanders.”

The Ministry of Health said some health targets were being retired to reduce the “complexity and overlap.”


Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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