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Minor skin surgery initiative given approval

13 December 2006

Minor skin surgery initiative given approval - skin GPSIs coming to Bay

Bay of Plenty District Health Board has gained approval and funding from the Ministry of Health to progress a minor skin surgery initiative with an aim to reduce waiting times and improve service delivery.

Planning for the $44,000 initiative is now progressing to the working stage in consultation with health board staff and PHOs.

Twelve GPs in the Bay of Plenty (ten in Tauranga/Mount Maunganui and two in Whakatane) will be provided with advanced skin surgery training to gain sub-specialist skills in minor skin surgery. In GP speak, they will become GPSI’s - GPs with Special Interests.

Chief Operating Officer Graham Dyer says that this will provide an option for minor skin surgeries to be undertaken by a GPSI at a GP practice rather than a surgical consultant based at the hospital.

Minor skin surgery referrals will continue to be received by the health board and categorised by an appropriately skilled doctor.

Mr Dyer explains that approximately 35% of current referrals for minor skin surgery are able to be appropriately treated in the primary care setting provided GPs have been adequately trained.

“In the last financial year 570 minor skin procedures were performed in the secondary setting that could be delivered by an appropriately trained GP.”

GPs will undergo training in the early new year, with the pilot completed by June 2007.

ENDS

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