In 2008 only 65% of people requiring cancer treatment got it within four weeks. Many had to go to Australia to get treatment. Today every DHB has 100% of people needing cancer treatment getting it within four weeks. Source: Ministry of Health National Health Targets.
The best way to reduce smoking, is for young New Zealanders not to take it up. In 2007 15.7% of 15 to 17 year olds were smokers. In 2013 this rate had reduced to 8.0%. Source: Ministry of Health Public Health Survey. Note I don’t think this change is not necessarily related to who is in Government, but think it is important to make the point that the trend is very positive.
In 2008 the public health system provided 118,000 elective operations. In 2013/14 it was 161,933. A huge increase of 44,000. Source: Ministry of Health National Health Targets.
From 2003 to 2008 the number of elective operations increased by 2,950 a year. Since 2008 it has increased by 7,368 a year. Source: Ministry of Health National Health Targets and National Party.
Recall all the moral panic over youth drinking. Well the Ministry of Health Public Health Survey shows that in 2007 19.5% of 15 to 17 year olds were hazardous drinkers and in 2013 only 8.1% were – almost half as many. Source: Ministry of Health Public Health Survey.
That’s 3,289 more nurses, 1,589 more doctors and 1,000 fewer health managers and administrators since 2008. Source: National Party Health Policy.
This is the change in percentage terms. Source: National Party. A 17.8% increase in nursing numbers and 26.8% increase in doctor numbers.
In 2008 only 70% of people in Emergency Departments were treated within six hours. In 2014 it was 94%. Source: Ministry of Health National Health Targets.
In 2008 only 76% of two year olds were immunised (on time). In 2014 it was 93%. Source: Ministry of Health National Health Targets.
These are not abstract changes. These are changes that make a huge impact on people’s lives. Few things are more important than quick cancer treatment, shorter emergency department stays, more immunisations and more elective operations. Plus on top of that the youth rates for smoking and hazardous drinking has almost halved.
These are issues that matter.