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New Zealand’s Health Targets Miss the Mark:  Ignoring the Elephants in the Room

On the 8th of March 2024, the New Zealand Government unveiled its latest health targets, aiming to enhance immunization rates and reduce waiting times in emergency departments (EDs) and for specialist assessments and cancer treatments. While these goals are undoubtedly important, the current approach overlooks significant issues that demand immediate attention. From the impact of the covid-19 response to the neglect of chronic disease causation and a disillusioned workforce, the existing targets are unlikely to succeed unless these crucial aspects of health are addressed.