More cash for surgery

Last updated 08:49 01/02/2014

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An extra $10 million will be available for elective surgery for New Zealanders over the next five months, including more than $300,000 for Taranaki.

Earlier this week, the Taranaki Daily News revealed "de facto waiting lists" of people unable to get on waiting lists for surgery were causing concern.

Yesterday, Health Minister Tony Ryall said the funding boost would mean more than 1800 extra patients, 55 in Taranaki, would receive elective surgery by the middle of this year.

"This government has lifted the number of Taranaki patients receiving elective surgery from 3759 in 2007/08 to 4660 last year.

"This has been a huge increase of 901 people - but we want even more Taranaki patients to benefit from surgery," Mr Ryall said.

A third of the operations would be orthopaedic, including knee and hip joint replacements.

The rest would be a mix of general surgery, ophthalmology operations including cataracts, and ears, nose and throat operations, Mr Ryall said.

"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."

The Taranaki District Health Board would use the extra $300,000 it received for orthopaedics, Mr Ryall said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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