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Sicker patient admissions not surprising

16 February 2006

“Admission of sicker patient admissions alarming but not surprising”

“The admission by the Auckland District Health Board that patients being treated on its waiting list are sicker now than what they were five years ago is alarming but not surprising. It is a national experience,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“This admission is consistent with the experience of senior doctors in many parts of New Zealand who unlike health bureaucrats and politicians have to deal with the practical, despairing and at times tragic realities every day.” “Ironically it is also false economy because the sicker the patients, the more costly it is to treat them. Earlier intervention is both better for patients and more cost effective. A stitch in time saves nine.”

“The government has over the past five years significantly increased health spending much of this has been in primary care and not public hospitals.”

“The government needs to now focus on public hospital services to ensure that all New Zealanders can access essential health services in a timely manner without suffering undue suffering and deterioration,” concluded Mr Powell.


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