26 Jun 2018

Ditching health targets is 'absolutely outrageous' - Bridges

1:15 pm on 26 June 2018

The government is putting people's lives at risk by ditching National's health targets, says National Party leader Simon Bridges.

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Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

The targets were put in place by the former National-led government in 2009.

They focussed on six areas: increased immunisation, faster cancer treatment, shorter stays in emergency departments, improved access to elective surgery, helping smokers to quit and raising healthy kids.

Mr Bridges said it was absolutely outrageous that the government had canned the targets.

He said it was a prime area where the government could be held to account.

"Over time dropping the targets, losing the accountability will mean more illnesses and more fatalities in our health system that could have been prevented."

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters said National had the wrong end of the stick.

"They are not correct in saying we've dropped health targets, we just think those health targets were such a miserable failure that we have to find something that works and that is better, and that's what we are working on at the moment."

The Health Minister's office said the old targets would not be published, and new targets were being developed.