I frequently hear appreciative comments from constituents about the excellent service they receive from all our Waikato Hospital staff, and from other clinics and treatment centres throughout the city.
The efforts of our doctors, nurses - and those who support them in those roles - are described as professional, compassionate and consistently going beyond the call of duty.
Those opinions were borne out last week by the release of the latest National Health Targets which show continued improvements to frontline health services in our region.
It was disappointing, therefore, to see a prominent headline following the release suggesting we are poorly served by our local emergency department.
While acknowledging that individual experiences can be below expectations at times of peak demand and unusual challenges - and sympathising with those caught in such circumstances - I felt it was a shame the article failed to provide balance, or to acknowledge the outstanding levels of care that make ours one of the finest hospitals in the southern hemisphere.
The latest figures show there are improvements in delivering better healthcare throughout the country. The Waikato DHB is no exception.
Waikato patients are benefiting from shorter stays in ED, with 88 per cent of patients being admitted, discharged, or transferred from the ED within six hours, an improvement of two per cent on the previous quarter. I know every effort is being made to secure further increases.
Nationwide, district health boards have performed nearly 4000 more elective operations than planned already this year - once again, well on the way to exceeding the target of increasing the elective surgery volume by at least 4000 discharges each year. Waikato exceeded its target number of elective procedures by 11 per cent during the latest quarter.
Ensuring patients get quick access to radiotherapy and chemotherapy is one way hospitals can help ease the burden of being diagnosed with cancer.
Hamilton is one of six centres in New Zealand providing radiation oncology services. All patients ready for radiotherapy and chemotherapy received it within the world gold standard of four weeks during the latest quarter.
For anyone needing to access treatment at times of an emergency, the experience is stressful and often deeply painful and unpleasant.
Any wait can seem unbearable and it's frustrating to see the additional pressure that our medical teams often face when the pubs close, as a result of excessive consumption and drunken behaviour.
But we can be confident that all who require help will receive the highest standards of care and compassion from our superb teams at Waikato Hospital and I thank them sincerely for all that they do.