News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


“Distressing” Report Needs Urgent Govt Attention

“Distressing” Report Needs Urgent Govt Attention

January 9, 2014

The CEO of a major New Zealand health insurer is giving priority in 2014 to persuading the government to be more realistic in addressing the thousands of people on hospital waiting lists.

Geoff Annals, CEO of Accuro Health Insurance, says it’s time for action and intends to seek widespread support from the private sector to challenge the government to ensure all New Zealanders have good access to elective surgery.

A comprehensive report surveying 1830 people released last month exposes the true extent of waiting lists. The report estimates one in 16 New Zealanders or 280,000 people require elective surgery and, of those, 170,000 aren’t even placed on the waiting list.

The report, by the Health Funds Association and the Private Surgical Hospitals Association, is the first glimpse into unmet elective surgical needs in over a decade.

Geoff Annals says the report is distressing and needs to be urgently addressed. “These aren’t just statistics. These are 280,000 cases of people living in discomfort and unable to participate fully in life. And 170,000 of these New Zealanders can’t even make the waiting list,” he says.

“Unless they belong to a health fund or are one of the few who have sufficient personal funds to meet the cost of surgery themselves, they simply have to grin and bear it.

“The survey also identifies the huge economic cost to the country from people unable to work due to illness or absenteeism.”

Geoff Annals has a lot of admiration for New Zealand’s public health system having spent 20 years as a DHB senior manager but says too often our hospitals are overwhelmed with urgent and acute admissions leaving them unable to effectively handle the hundreds of people waiting for elective surgery.

He’s aware of people regularly being dropped from public waiting lists because DHB resources are fully committed meeting the immediate need for acute treatment and can’t simultaneously meet the Government’s requirement for elective surgery.

Geoff argues that better integration of public and private health resources is required to reduce the intolerable burden of unmet need affecting one in 16 New Zealanders.

“New Zealand’s health resources must be considered as one whole -  public and private - combined resource to be used to the best advantage of all New Zealanders,” Geoff says.

“Community based health insurers and private hospitals are ready to step up to the challenges involved and work with the government to deliver a properly integrated and more effective, national elective surgical system.

“The predicament faced by the many thousands of New Zealanders who are desperately seeking an early return to health, demands our urgent attention,” he concludes.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Game Review: Until Dawn - Pick Your Own Horrible Adventure

Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn sees a group of dumb sexy teenagers take a trip to a spooky mansion atop a mountain. It is, obviously, a horror game. However, the game is so ridiculous it turns out to be more of a comedy. More>>

John McBeth: Our World Cup All Blacks

Forty or fifty years ago nobody really had any idea of what the selectors had in mind. There were often several trials, which sometimes featured over 150 players, possibly an inter island match or a final trial, then we listened to the announcement of the team on radio. The players weren't flown into the capital for a parliamentary function... More>>

ALSO:

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news