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HBDHB tops use of mobile surgical bus

MEDIA RELEASE

21 January 2004

HBDHB tops use of mobile surgical bus

With 161 Hawke’s Bay people having surgery in the mobile surgical services bus in the year from 1 October 2002 – 30 September 2003, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) is the number one DHB in terms of utilisation of the surgical bus.

HBDHB chief executive, Chris Clarke, said the bus had been put to good use in Wairoa, where a total of 112 people have received care. This included otorhinolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) procedures, general surgery, dental and gynaecology procedures.

In Hastings a total of 49 patients received otorhinolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) procedures, general surgery, orthopaedics, dental and gynaecological procedures.

“The beauty of the surgical bus in areas like Wairoa is that people don’t have to travel for hours to get to hospital, and they can recover in their home town, and of course, as this surgery is in addition to what we are funded to provide, people are getting access to surgery sooner than they would if they were waiting for surgery at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

The value of the additional surgery carried out is approximately $150,000.

Chris Clarke said he was keen to see the bus used more in the future, as it was an important way of improving access to elective services. “We would like to see it used for diagnostic procedures such as gastroscopies and colonoscopies as well as surgery under general anaesthetic,” he said.

“It’s a credit to all of the DHB staff involved that this has been such a success, and I thank everyone involved for shifting outside their ‘comfort zone’ to be surgical bus pioneers,” Chris Clarke said.

The Mobile Surgical Services bus has completed its second year of operation, and has delivered more than the annual 1000 surgical procedures required under its five year contract with the Ministry of Health.

END

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