6 May 2004 Media release – Health Committee
Hospital-acquired infection report released
Better monitoring of infections acquired in hospitals is needed, a Health Committee report has found. Currently
information on such infections is collected by District Health Boards, but data collection standards are not consistent
across the health sector.
The Health Committee today presented to the House its report on its inquiry into hospital-acquired infection. This
report follows a report released in June 2003 by the Controller and Auditor-General on the management of
hospital-acquired infection in public hospitals. The Controller and Auditor-General’s report comprehensively examined
infection control procedures in New Zealand public hospitals and made 39 recommendations about how to improve such
The committee was pleased by the detail and scope of the Controller and Auditor-General’s report, and has closely
followed the implementation of its recommendations by the Ministry of Health and individual District Health Boards.
“The implementation of the Auditor-General’s recommendations is essential to reassure the public about the safety and
quality of public health in New Zealand,” committee chairperson Steve Chadwick said. “We also consider that higher
priority should be given by the Ministry of Health to establishing a national surveillance programme for
“We consider that the Ministry of Health should set and enforce nationwide standards that apply to the collection of
data on hospital-acquired infection rates and hospital-acquired bloodstream infection rates,” Mrs Chadwick said. “We
also consider that the public should be able to easily access regularly updated information on infections through a
Ministry of Health website.”
The committee supports initiatives already undertaken by the Ministry of Health and the District Health Boards and will
monitor further work in this area.
The committee’s report can be viewed at http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/cgi-bin/select-reports