The Government's six national health targets are being updated in the key preventive health areas of immunisation and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
These changes were part of National's 2011 election commitments.
Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced, "Medical oncology is being added to the cancer waiting time target from the middle of this year. This means all patients who need either radiation or chemotherapy treatment should get it within the world gold standard of four weeks.
"Also from the middle of this year, the immunisation target is changing from 95% of all two years olds completing their scheduled vaccinations, to 95% of eight month olds completing their scheduled vaccinations by the end of 2014. This is another election promise.
"Children are more likely to complete all immunisations if they begin early. They are most vulnerable to infectious diseases like whooping cough and pneumococcal disease between 3 months and 18 months of age.
"On 1 January 2012, the CVD and diabetes target changed to 'More heart and diabetes checks.' This sets a clearer goal for DHBs and GPs to work together to identify cardiovascular disease and diabetes sooner, and to assist in better management of these conditions.
"The revised target will measure the percentage eligible people who have completed cardiovascular risk assessments within the last five years. This involves working through CVD risks with a GP or nurse and includes a diabetes check.”
The target is for 90 per cent of eligible people to have their checks completed within the last five years, to be achieved in stages by July 2014. The first stage is to achieve 60 percent by July 2012, and 75 percent by July 2013.