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1800 patients wait for six months at Capital Coast

1800 patients wait for six months at Capital Coast

At least 1800 patients are waiting more than six months for first assessment by Capital Coast Health specialists, the Health Select Committee was told today.

National's Associate Health spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison, says last year waiting list figures went down to 1300 but are now back to 1800.

"These patients are left distressed, frustrated and uncertain as to when they might be seen, let alone when they might get treatment," he says.

"This is an indictment on the Labour Government's health policy and their 1999 election policy to fix waiting lists."

Dr Hutchison says the select committee was told Capital Coast is still working to reduce the surgical waiting list assessments methodology.

"This is pathetic after four years of a Labour Government."

He says there has been an increase in the threshold of the scoring system that works out the funding for patients who might get surgery for ear, nose and throat, general surgery, gynaecology, opthalmology and urology.

"Capital Coast was unable to clarify if they could improve the situation in the short or medium future.

"More than 1800 patients waiting to see a specialist for more than six months is bad news for people with health problems, particularly when the DHB can give no assurance that the situation will improve."

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