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National intervention gets boy surgery

National intervention gets boy surgery

National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott says she's pleased that her intervention has meant a four-year-old Auckland boy will get heart surgery this year averting an indefinite delay.

"The boy's mother has heard today he will get open heart surgery by October this year, after the Auckland District Health Board had delayed his surgery from May 19 until after February 2004, because of Greenlane Hospital moving to Auckland Hospital.

"I am pleased that my phone call to the board has meant this little boy has been "reprioritised' and will get his surgery sooner, but it should not take our intervention to get this boy surgery. There should be contingency plans in place for these children.

"How many other children are having their lives put at risk because they've been told they can't get surgery until next year?

"I am told that up to 30 other children are on the waiting list for heart surgery. Our lobbying for this boy worked. We encourage others to come forward with their delays.

"There are only two surgeons who perform this surgery on children. Minister must consider allowing children affected by the amalgamation of the Auckland Hospitals shift that can't get surgery elsewhere in New Zealand, to go to Australia for surgery.

"That is the best option for children whose lives, growth and development are put at risk by surgery delays," Dr Scott said.

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