ED figures are worse than predicted

Today’s emergency department figures show why the Government has been trying to hide from accountability, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“It has been an embarrassing week for the Government which published incorrect emergency department figures on Health NZ’s website, painting a false image that our health sector was coping.


“Figures revealed today will be a shock to many New Zealanders. Nearly half of the hospitals had incorrect data – with Dunedin and Middlemore hospitals having inaccurate data almost every month, with their emergency department wait times being overstated as better than they actually were.


“Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall’s data can no longer be trusted. The Minister must urgently review all of the reported quarterly measures and report any inaccuracies. Having accurate emergency department figures is essential to see how the sector is coping.


“Emergency department wait times have been getting worse since the Labour Government took over and before Covid ever hit our shores. The current figures show that sick and injured New Zealanders are going to have an incredibly tough winter ahead.


“Labour claims to have spent more money than any other Government on health, yet not one health metric has improved – in fact it has all gotten worse. This Government constantly confuses spending money with outcomes, and it is our most vulnerable New Zealanders who are going to pay the price.


“Health targets help save lives, and the last National Government made it a target that 95 per cent of people going to emergency departments were seen within six hours and consistently came close to that. Since Labour removed targets, every emergency department’s wait times have worsened.


“A National Government will redirect health reform waste into building the health workforce and will hold itself accountable to publicly reported targets.”