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Extra $10M of elective surgery great news. But more needed

Media Release

31 January 2014

Extra $10M of elective surgery great news. But more needed

Arthritis New Zealand Chief Executive Sandra Kirby is delighted that an extra $10 Million has been allocated for elective surgery over the next five months, following an announcement this week by Hon. Tony Ryall, Minister of Health, in which he said 1,800 extra patients will receive elective surgery by the middle of this year. A third of these operations are expected to be orthopaedic surgeries, such as hip and knee replacements. 1

“This is great news,” Ms Kirby said today. “For many people with osteoarthritis having a joint replaced, such as hip or knee, is a successful and safe procedure that is important in reducing pain and increasing mobility.”

“But more is needed. Joint replacement on its own is not enough. In addition to surgery the international evidence is we can do much more to prevent surgery, with other treatment, such as physiotherapy. So we are hopeful that provision will be made for these services as well.”

“We would also like to think that this is a signal from the government that current funding levels are not meeting New Zealand’s level of needs for osteoarthritis treatment including joint replacements. We understand that as operations go, joint replacement is second only to heart surgery in restoring quality of life, and we want to see more New Zealanders being able to benefit from this procedure”, Ms Kirby concluded.


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