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30 November 2001 News Update


More people than ever are being treated by New Zealand's health services.

This is one of the facts about the health sector, outlined in a new Ministry of Health publication The Health and Independence Report.

"As a country we spend more than $7 billion each year on health and disability support services. This report card on how well our health system is performing shows many real achievements as well as some concerning trends," says director-general of health, Dr Karen Poutasi.

Since 1998 deaths in hospital following coronary artery bypass graft surgery have more than halved, reflecting real improvements in the quality of care.

The report also shows how improvements in medication and asthma education mean that young children are now far less likely to face the experience of being hospitalised for asthma.

One of the worrying trends was steady 3% per year increase in admissions to hospital from diseases and conditions that could be prevented by early primary health care. This was much higher among Maori and Pacific Islanders than Pakeha.

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