Appendix 1: Our methodology

Progress in delivering publicly funded scheduled services to patients.

We analysed quantitative and qualitative information published or provided to us by the Ministry, DHBs, professional groups, researchers and academics, and international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

We talked with, and received written comments and documents from, various organisations and individuals, such as people managing and working in private hospitals, representatives from health professional groups, the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner, DHBs, primary health organisations, individual general practitioners, the Ministry (past and present employees), the New Zealand Guidelines Group, and members of the public.

We asked many of the people we contacted to recommend other people for us to speak to before we wrote our report. We carried out as many of their suggestions as we could. For several reasons, we did not contact patients who had:

  • received scheduled services;
  • were waiting for scheduled services; or
  • not been offered scheduled services by DHBs or ACC.

News media articles provided some insights, as did some of the Health and Disability Commissioner's published case studies. These articles and case studies tended to be complaints rather than compliments.

We visited Auckland, Canterbury, Capital and Coast, Nelson Marlborough, and Wairarapa DHBs. We visited the Canterbury Charity Hospital in Christchurch. We were shown around the operating theatres at Auckland and Green Lane Hospitals and were told how they were used. Clinical administration staff in two DHBs showed us how they book patients for specialists' appointments and add patients to the waiting list for surgery.

We asked DHBs and others about the progress they thought they had made towards achieving the Strategy's objectives. We asked them to consider the last 10 years and tell us:

  • what they thought was working well in the system to provide scheduled services;
  • what further improvements in the system, if any, they thought the public could reasonably expect by the end of 2013;
  • what the first improvement they would make to the system was and why, if they were free to make that improvement;
  • what their biggest frustration was and why; and
  • what outcomes they thought a scheduled services system should deliver and whether they thought these were being achieved.

We thank everyone who told us what they thought and all those who met with us. We asked representatives from the Ministry, ACC, and DHBs to comment on our draft report. We carefully considered their comments and the information they gave us. As we expected, there were areas where people held relatively similar opinions and areas where there was a range of views.

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