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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Potentially avoidable hospitalisations (PAH) is an indicator of health-related outcomes under the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy (the Strategy). The Ministry of Health is required to provide PAH data as a part of ongoing annual reporting for the Strategy. 

The indicator is required to help the government: 

  • better understand the social determinants of child and youth health
  • monitor the collective efforts of the health sector and other sectors on improving the health status of this population subgroup.

To meet these requirements, we have developed a broad PAH definition that includes hospitalisations that can be potentially avoided by:

  • the provision of appropriate health care interventions and early disease management, usually delivered in primary care and community-based care settings (ambulatory sensitive hospitalisations (ASH))
  • public health interventions, such as injury prevention, health promotion and immunisation
  • social policy interventions (such as income support and housing policy).

In addition to the assessment of research and analytical evidence, consultations with internal and external professionals with expertise in clinical medicine and public health (such as epidemiology and injury prevention) were used in the development of the indicator.

This publication presents the methods for developing the indicator and the detail of 16 categories (eg, vaccine-preventable diseases) of potentially avoidable hospitalisations.