20 Jul 2008

Under-5s subsidy helping to reduce emergency visits

9:09 am on 20 July 2008

New figures show that 10% fewer children under five are being taken to hospital emergency departments.

The Ministry of Health has released data relating to its 10 annual targets, including cutting cancer treatment waiting times and avoidable hospital admissions.

Waiting times for cancer treatment increased over Christmas, but most centres rebounded quickly to get urgent patients treated within eight weeks of when they were first seen.

The ministry says district health boards have made steady progress on most of the other targets in the 12 months to September 2007.

In particular, it says GP subsidies for children aged under five years meant 10% more children were taken to their family doctor and avoided a stay in hospital than the previous year.