Theatre time in Christchurch hospitals at record high
Fewer people requiring acute (urgent) surgery at Christchurch Hospital does not automatically translate into greater capacity for the Canterbury District Health Board to do more elective (planned) surgery, according to the Board's Chief Executive Officer Gordon Davies.
"There is a perception that we can simply allocate acute theatre space for electiveprocedures but we still need to ensure that there are theatres and staff available for people who need urgent operations," he said. Mr Davies comments follow several requests from people waiting for elective surgery to have their waiting time reduced, after hearing that there were fewer people requiringacute surgery.
"The amount of theatre time being used at Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals is in fact higher than at any other time in the Board's history and we are also contracting withprivate providers so that we can deliver more elective surgery," he said.
Most people in Canterbury who have been assessed as needing elective surgery will receive their operation within six months of their First Specialist Assessment.
"The fact that fewer people have required urgent surgery in the last few months is very good news and we are looking very closely at why this has happened and if it should have any long term effect on the structure of our services," Mr Davies said.