Our recommendation

Progress in delivering publicly funded scheduled services to patients.

We recommend that the Ministry of Health and district health boards agree:

  • what they will do to improve their progress in more fully achieving the Strategy's objectives; and
  • when they will do it and how they will demonstrate that improvements have been achieved.

The priority areas that we recommend they focus on are ensuring that:

  • patients are more consistently selected for first specialist assessments;
  • patients are more consistently prioritised for treatment;
  • a greater proportion of patients receive scheduled services within the expected time limits;
  • a greater proportion of patients are treated in priority order; and
  • progress is made in quantifying the level of unmet need for scheduled services.

The Ministry supports our recommendation. It agrees that the five priority areas that we have identified have merit. The Ministry believes that these five areas are reflected in its current work programme and the activities of, for example, the National Health IT Board and the National Cardiac Surgery Clinical Network.

We plan to publicly report on the Ministry's and DHBs' progress as part of our series of annual reports called Public entities' progress in implementing the Auditor-General's recommendations. We plan to do this for the first time in 2013.

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