Hospital no-shows 'relatively low'

More than 10,000 hospital appointments were missed in the past year because people "forgot" to attend.

In the past year, there were 10,430 specialist and follow-up appointments at the Palmerston North Hospital that were considered ‘did not attends', MidCentral District Health Board figures show.

MidCentral operations director Lyn Horgan said the services that experienced the most DNAs were general surgery and orthopaedics.

"The main reason given is that the patient forgot," Horgan said.

Missed appointments included 3801 new patients and 6628 follow-ups but the DHB did not calculate how much the appointments were costing the hospital, Horgan said.

The DNAs were between 4.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent of all hospital appointments, and had been at that rate for the past 18 months, which was "relatively low", she said.

In Auckland, health board figures show nearly 10 per cent of patients are not showing up at the region's three hospital areas.

Costs varied across Auckland's hospitals but were estimated to be $260 for each specialist appointment and $180 for follow-ups in Manukau, translating to a loss of about $4.3 million, with similar figures in each of the past three years.

Manawatu Standard