Boost for elective surgery in region

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 09:00 01/02/2014

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A $10 million government investment in elective surgery will give 40 Manawatu patients much-needed operations in the next five months.

The MidCentral District Health Board will receive more than $230,000 for ophthalmology and orthopaedic services.

Concerns were raised about the waiting list for orthopaedic services and the financial penalty that could come with it, in a report to the Hospital Advisory Committee in November last year.

In October 2013, there were 306 patients waiting for treatment. Thirty-six had been waiting more than four months, and 11 for more than five months.

During the same month, 36 patients were declined their first specialist appointment and sent back to their GP - an action taken to reduce capacity restrictions.

Health minister Tony Ryall announced the extra funding this week to improve elective surgery rates.

"This government has lifted the number of Manawatu patients receiving elective surgery from 4782 in 2007/08 to 6545 last year," he said. "This has been a huge increase of 1763 people - but we want even more Manawatu patients to benefit from surgery.

"We have identified specialties where public hospitals can do even better and every district health board will receive extra funding to provide even more patients with the surgery they need."

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- Manawatu Standard

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