'Outstanding year' for Waikato DHB

Almost 8 million bloods tests were taken, 800,000 patient meals cooked and 3980 babies born in the last year at Waikato District Health Board's facilities, its just-released annual report shows.

The Annual Report for the financial year 2011/12 was released yesterday and shows it was an extremely busy year, with 99,596 people alone presenting to the DHB's five emergency departments.

At the same time 77,783 inpatients were discharged, 207,319 outpatients seen to, 7.91 million blood tests taken and 26,270 surgical operations completed.

Kitchen staff were also busy making 794,499 inpatient meals and 50,699 more for meals on wheels.

DHB chairman Graeme Milne said it had been an ''outstanding year'' given the challenges the staff faced - including major redevelopment of Waikato Hospital.

The $500 million redevelopment of its buildings and equipment is now halfway complete.

The DHB returned a surplus of $9.4 million, slightly below their planned  $11.5 million surplus due to extra funds being spent to reduce waiting lists for elective surgery to within the six-month national target.

They achieved 106.9 per cent of planned volumes - 13,579 discharges - slightly above the national average of 105.9 per cent and 4927 more than five years ago.

Mr Milne said health funding was unlikely to increase much over coming years, so the DHB had to find other ways to increase productivity on less money.

''Services across the sectors must be more integrated, delivered as early as possible and in community and home settings rather than in hospitals,'' he said.

- The full report can be viewed here.