The latest update on the Ministry of Health's quarterly health targets shows Canterbury District Health Board has the worst rate of heart and diabetes checks in the country.
The targets are a set of national performance measures designed to improve the performance of health services.
Canterbury board chief executive David Meates said it had been working with primary care organisations to improve performance on the target.
The target was for 90 per cent of the eligible population to have had their cardiovascular risk assessed in the last five years.
The target is set to be achieved in stages by July 2014. The current stage is to achieve 75 per cent by July 2013.
Only 28 per cent of the eligible population in Canterbury had their cardiovascular risk assessed in the time period. The national average was 55 per cent,
Mr Meates said while the board had a considerable amount of catching up to do in comparison to others, the earthquakes had had a significant impact on general practices and the movement of patients within the region and primary health organisations created further challenges.
"At the moment the number of Canterbury people becoming unwell with heart disease is under the national average. It's important that it stays this way.
"The board has made remarkable achievements during the last two years and continues to deliver and improve on health targets including the heart checks."
A solution to improve data collection was underway and continued improvement was expected in the next quarter, he said.
Health Minister Tony Ryall said while further work was needed nationwide to achieve the target, a national 3 per cent increase on the previous quarter equated to more than 36,000 more people having their cardiovascular risk assessed.
Mr Meates said more encouraging results included an increased performance in the help for smokers to quit target - with 90 per cent of hospitalised smokers having received help and advice to quit - up 2 per cent on the previous quarter's results. The national target was 95 per cent.
The target was for 95 per cent of patients who smoked and were seen by a health practitioner in public hospitals, and 90 per cent of patients who smoke and were seen by a health practitioner in primary care, to be offered brief advice and support to quit smoking.
Introduced in the 2007 financial year, the targets are reviewed annually to align with government health priorities.
Nationally, four of the six health targets were met in the most recent quarter (October to December): improved access to elective surgery, shorter waits for cancer treatment, increased immunisation and better help for smokers to quit.
Shorter stays in emergency departments and more heart and diabetes checks targets were not met.
The target for shorter emergency department stays was for 95 per cent of patients to be admitted, discharged or transferred within six hours.
Canterbury scored 94 per cent. The national average was 93 per cent.
For improved access to elective surgery, the target was for an increase in the volume of elective surgery by at least 4000 discharges nationwide annually.
The target was beaten by 5 per cent. Boards planned to deliver 74,799 discharges, and delivered almost 4000 more.
The target for shorter waits for cancer treatment was for all patients ready for treatment to wait less than four weeks for radiotherapy or chemotherapy. All boards met the target.
The target for increased immunisation was for 85 per cent of 8-month-olds to have their primary course of immunisation on time by July 2013, with the target increasing to 90 per cent by July 2014 and 95 per cent by December 2014.
Canterbury scored 91 per cent, slightly above the national average of 89 per cent.
How CDHB performed:
Shorter stays in emergency departments
Target: 95 per cent
Canterbury DHB: 94 per cent
National average: 93 per cent
Improved access to elective surgery
Target: 100 per cent
Canterbury DHB: 108 per cent
National average: 105 per cent
Target: 85 per cent
Canterbury DHB: 91 per cent
National average: 89 per cent
Shorter waits for cancer treatment
Target: 100 per cent
Canterbury DHB: 100 per cent
National average: 100 per cent
Better help for smokers to quit
Target: 95 per cent
Canterbury DHB: 90 per cent
National average: 95 per cent
More heart and diabetes checks
Target: 75 per cent
Canterbury DHB: 28 per cent
National average: 55 per cent