Targeting better health outcomes
A National Government will bring back targets for important measures like wait times and cancer treatment to focus the health system on achieving better results, and will incentivise GP clinics to lift immunisation rates.
Labour’s approach to health has taken New Zealand backwards. Wait lists and emergency department wait times have soared, childhood immunisation rates have plunged, and New Zealanders are facing longer delays to access urgent cancer treatment or surgery.
That’s unacceptable to National. Put simply, health targets save lives so we will restore them to focus the system on doing better for New Zealanders. We will hold ourselves publicly accountable for progress by publishing the results every quarter, for each region.
Having transparent targets with regular, robust reporting helps identify where the system is falling short and focuses effort on improving outcomes.
National’s five major targets for health will be:
- Shorter stays in emergency department – 95% of patients to be admitted, discharged or transferred from an emergency department within six hours.
- Faster cancer treatment – 85% of patients to receive cancer management within 31 days of the decision to treat.
- Improved immunisation – 95% of two-year-olds receiving their full age-appropriate immunisations.
- Shorter wait times for first specialist assessment – a meaningful reduction in the number of people waiting more than four months to see a specialist (target to be set in government).
- Shorter wait times for surgery – a meaningful reduction in the number of people waiting more than four months for surgery (target to be set in government).
Immunisation Incentive Payments
National is particularly concerned by falling childhood immunisation rates and money spent now to lift them will prevent misery, illness and deaths.
To support National’s childhood immunisation target while lifting immunisation rates for two other at-risk age groups – under 18s and seniors – National will establish a one-off Immunisation Incentive Payments programme for GP clinics that are able to lift immunisation rates for their eligible enrolled patients.
Under our plan, GP clinics will be eligible for a one-off payment of $10 for every enrolled patient on their books provided they achieve each of the following three improvement measures by 30 June 2024:
- Childhood immunisation (24 months) – improve immunisation rate by five percentage points or achieve a 95% immunisation rate among eligible patients.
- MMR immunisation (1-17 years) – improve immunisation rate by five percentage points or achieve a 95% immunisation rate among eligible patients.
- Influenza vaccination (65 years and over) – improve immunisation rate by five percentage points or achieve a 75% immunisation rate among eligible patients.
That means, for example, a clinic with several GPs and 4,500 enrolled patients would receive a payment of $45,000 if it meets the three improvement measures.
National is serious about supporting the health system and getting better results from it for New Zealanders.
Read more about our plan here: Targeting better health outcomes
More of National’s plan to deliver better health
National will focus relentlessly on results. We will increase health funding every year, and shift resources from back-office bureaucrats to the frontline.
Helping more Kiwis fight cancer
Lifting New Zealand’s game on cancer will be a priority for the next National Government. We’ll lift the free breast cancer screening age from 69 to 74 and fund 13 cancer treatments that are available in Australia but not New Zealand.
Read more about our plan to fund 13 new cancer treatments: Helping more Kiwis fight cancer
Read more about our plan to increase the free breast cancer screening age from 69 to 74 years old here: Free breast cancer screening
Addressing the health workforce crisis
National has also announced plans to address the health workforce crisis by training 220 more doctors a year and offering nurses and midwives up to $22,500 in student loan forgiveness in exchange for agreeing to work in New Zealand for at least five years.
Read more about our plan to train more doctors here: Training more doctors
Read more about our plan to deliver more nurses and midwives here: Delivering more nurses and midwives