The Herald reports:
The rate of smokers being offered help in quitting by their health providers has fallen significantly in the past two years, according to an official measure.
Smoke-free campaigners say it’s an incredibly disappointing trend and the Opposition is accusing the Government of losing focus on health targets.
But ministers say smoking rates are still falling and other clinical checks are taking priority.
New data published by the Ministry of Health shows while in the middle of 2017 about 89 per cent of patients registered as smokers had been offered help by health professionals in the previous 15 months, that figure had slumped to 82.9 per cent by September last year.
This is what happens when you scrap targets.
Smoke-free campaign group ASH’s director, Deborah Hart, said the country was not on target to become smoke free in five years’ time.
“If DHBs are reaching less people, that’s terribly disappointing,” she said.
“There’s a whole lot of services that need to be offered and DHBs are part of that.”
This is a Government that hates any form of accountability.