DHB goes to private hospitals for help

A private hospital in Marlborough will get extra elective surgery patients as public hospitals struggle to keep on top of their waiting lists.

The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board will have to outsource the 86 additional surgeries to two private hospitals - one in Marlborough and one in Nelson - during the next five months.

This comes after an announcement from Health Minister Tony Ryall that the board would receive almost $500,000 in extra funding to provide more patients with elective surgery.

In December, the Express reported the board was 139 discharges behind schedule.

Board chief executive Chris Fleming said he was confident they would complete the original 6029 surgeries by the end of the year but would be unable to do the extra procedures.

"We will outsource the additional 86 surgeries as the board does not have the capacity or staff to complete them."

Marlborough's Churchill Private Hospital Trust in Marlborough and Nelson's Manuka Street Hospital would carry out those surgeries. The board is using the extra funding for ear, nose and throat surgery, general surgery, orthopaedics and eye surgery.

With the additional surgeries, 6149 elective procedures will be provided for the year ending June 30, Mr Fleming said.

"Since December 2013, the board has been closely monitoring the elective discharges plan to ensure the board will meet its elective surgery commitments by that time."

Mr Ryall announced last week the government was investing $10 million to provide 1800 extra patients across New Zealand with elective surgery in the next five months.

The government increased the number of Nelson Marlborough patients receiving elective surgery by 230 last year to 6054.

Note: This story has been updated.

The Marlborough Express