We all need emergency or after-hour care from time to time. Understanding why, when and what conditions people present with is critical for service planning and delivery. This section includes some data and resources relating to emergency department (ED) use and care.
NZ Emergency department visits
One of the key reports to help understand utilisation of emergency care in NZ Emergency Department Use 2011/12: Key findings of the New Zealand Health Survey report from the Ministry of Health in 2013. (1)
In the table below, only 0.1% of patients said they visited ED because they "do not have a regular GP", while over 38% who visited ED in the last 12 months believed their condition could have been treated by a medical centre if available.
- One in seven adults and children had used an emergency department (ED) in the previous 12 months
- One in seven adults and children (14%: approximately 483,000 adults and 126,000 children) had used an ED one or more times in the previous 12 months.
- Boys (16%) were more likely to have used an ED in the previous 12 months than girls (12%).
- There was a small increase in the proportion of adults (1%) and children (2%) who had used an ED from 2006/07 to 2011/12.
- Māori adults were 1.7 times as likely to have used an ED in the previous 12 months as nonMāori adults.
- One in six adults (18%) living in the most deprived areas had used an ED in the previous 12 months, compared with one in ten adults (10%) in the least deprived areas.
- Fewer than one in 30 people (3.7%) reported that they had used an ED two or more times in the previous 12 months.
- Ministry of Health. 2013. Emergency Department Use 2011/12: Key findings of the New Zealand Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health. [1MB, pdf]
- Emergency department use 2011/12, Ministry of Health NZ