Patients waiting 24 hours in ED doubles in 6 months

It has been revealed that 3,600 New Zealanders waited more than 24 hours in emergency departments between June and December last year, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall today revealed that since the creation of HealthNZ, from July to December last year, 3,600 people waited more than 24 hours in an emergency department across the country.


“This shows that the number of sick or injured New Zealanders waiting more than 24 hours has doubled in six months under HealthNZ, rising from just 1,300 in the six months prior to its creation.


“Any number of people waiting more than 24 hours to be treated is appalling, but it is shocking that the numbers have increased to this level this quickly, and highlights the failings of this expensive health restructure.  


“When National was last in government, it had a clear target to have 95 per cent of patients arriving at emergency department being seen within six hours – and we constantly came close to that target. But waiting more than 24 hours is simply unmanageable for patients and staff.


“This Labour Government and it’s Minister are failing at their core responsibility of making sure the sick and injured are being seen in a timely manner and New Zealanders are now paying the price.


“One thing is for sure, winter is going to be a tough time for New Zealanders in need of urgent health care.


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