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118,553 NZers wait for their Specialist Assessment

118,553 NZers wait for their First Specialist Assessment

Thursday 7 Apr 2005

Heather Roy - Press Releases - Health

ACT health spokesman Heather Roy today revealed that 118,553 New Zealanders were waiting for their First Specialist Assessment at the country's 21 District Health Board's in December 2004, an increase of 5,102 since September when 113,451 were waiting.

Information released to Mrs Roy by the Ministry of Health shows 25,190 people had waited for more than six months for their First Specialist Assessment - up 2,113 since September 2004 when 23,077 were waiting.

"In August 1998, Health Minister Annette King -then in opposition bluster mode-described the fact that 96,000 people were awaiting First Specialist Assessments as `criminal' and raged that people could be dying," Mrs Roy said. "Now, with numbers continuing to rise under her watch, Ms King is conspicuous by her silence.

"Annette King is trying to tell us that Labour is doing a great job with health, but the number of people waiting to have their medical conditions assessed continues to climb at a dramatic rate.

The Government has declared that no one should wait longer than six months to be seen by a specialist for assessment. This time doesn't count as waiting list time and when some patients finally get surgery their condition has worsened to the point where they can never regain their full quality of life.

"Annette King should be embarrassed that her First Specialist Assessment figures are so much higher now than when she was in opposition and claimed 96,000 to be criminal and that people could be dying. She should front up and admit she is failing New Zealanders considered by GPs to need surgery or specialist treatment," Mrs Roy said.

*Individual DHB specialty figures available


District Health Boards

Waiting for FSA

Waiting more than 6 months for FSA

Northland

4,537

1,533

Waitemata

9,157

2,502

Auckland

15,225

2,602

Counties-Manukau

9,398

2,116

Waikato

9,982

1,312

Lakes

3,499

719

Bay of Plenty

6,808

1,271

Tairawhiti

2,163

776

Hawke's Bay

4,474

955

Taranaki

3,587

905

Midcentral

6,290

1,542

Whanganui

2,822

694

Capital and Coast

8,008

1,749

Hutt

3,309

418

Wairarapa

1,367

166

Nelson-Marlborough

4,884

1,253

West Coast

1,744

533

Canterbury

11,122

1,894

South Canterbury

2,297

658

Otago

4,899

766

ENDS


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