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“Plummeting Surgery Rates Alarming”

“Plummeting Surgery Rates Alarming”

“The reported plummeting elective surgery rates at the Canterbury District Health Board is alarming and will only increase the stress and risk of harm for patients,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Taking patients off the waiting list is no solution. It simply transfers the clinical risk from the DHB to patients.”

“It is absurd and sick that the best thing that can happen for many of these patients is that their health continues to deteriorate until it is sufficiently bad for them to be treated. Illness and disease does not go away; it usually gets worse, increases pain and suffering, and ends up costing more to treat.”

“It is both bad health policy and bad economics.”

“The only way out of this debacle is for the government and DHBs to work with health professionals to develop strategies for early effective intervention and treatment for patients instead of waiting for their conditions to further deteriorate.”

“Never has the expression ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ been more apt,” concluded Mr Powell.

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