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Lakes DHB patients worse off

Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokeswoman
23 February 2004

Lakes DHB patients worse off

A decision by the Lakes District Health Board to stop elective orthopaedic surgery in a private hospital is a sure-fire way to worsen patient outcomes, says National's Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.

She says private Rotorua hospital Queen Elizabeth Health is providing high-quality elective orthopaedic surgery options for patients.

"By not using QE Health, Lakes DHB is putting patient health at further risk by increasing already lengthy waiting times and cancelling more operations.

"It is commonsense to perform elective surgery in private hospitals.

"I have patient after patient telling me their elective surgery has been cancelled time and time again in the public system.

"Extended care for patients is costly, in terms of their physical, emotional and financial well-being.

"A DHB's first priority should be the health of its patients - that means allowing patients on elective surgery waiting lists to go to private hospitals.

"Forcing ill patients to wait endlessly on public waiting lists while options for earlier surgery is squandered is ideology over commonsense," says Dr Scott.

Ends

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