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“Culling Waiting Lists Won’t Save Money”

“Culling Waiting Lists Won’t Save Money”

“Culling patient waiting lists will not save money,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the latest announcement of a district health board culling a waiting list. The Nelson Marlborough DHB has announced that about 300 patients will be culled from the specialist eye service waiting list.

“These are patients that GPs have recommended should be assessed by eye specialists for further possible treatment.”

“Denying assessment over conditions and possible treatments is financially as well as clinically irresponsible. It can lead to a patient’s condition deteriorating which often then requires complex or emergency treatment that is more expensive than early intervention. It also creates more pressure and increased costs for GPs who have already diagnosed the need for specialist assessment and social agencies who may need to help out.”

“The government has increased permanent baseline health funding but unfortunately, for whatever reason, it is not getting where it is needed—to patient care.”

“Early intervention saves money just as a stitch in time saves nine,” concluded Mr Powell.

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