Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Budget 2005: $17 million for extra cataract ops

Budget 2005 $17 million for extra cataract operations

The Government will spend an extra $17 million over the next three years in providing a total of up to 7500 more cataracts operations.

Helen Clark and Annette King made the announcement today as they viewed a live cataract operation beamed into Annette King’s Beehive office from the mobile surgical bus in Kapiti.

Helen Clark said the new funding would see, by 2008, a 50 per cent increase on the number of cataract operations being performed now.

“This new cataract initiative is a logical follow-up to the orthopaedics initiative we announced in the Budget last year. Both initiatives are designed to dramatically improve the quality of life for thousands more older New Zealanders,” Helen Clark said.

Annette King said funding will be phased in over three years as capacity is increased to perform the extra operations.

“Currently we are performing about 8000 operations a year, and the aim is to perform an extra 1050 operations in 2005-06, up to 2500 extra in 2006-07, and to reach an extra 4000 operations a year by 2007-08. By then we aim to be performing 12,000 operations a year, a 50 percent increase on what is being done now,” Annette King said.

Annette King said an extra $2.67 million (all figures are gst exclusive) will be provided for the initiative in 2005-06, rising to $5.78 million in 2006-07 and $8.71 million in 2007-08.

“The Ministry of Health is setting up a working group, involving ophthalmologists, optometrists, and District Health Board and Ministry representatives, to find efficient and innovative ways of enabling even greater volumes of cataract surgery than planned to be carried out both over the next three years and subsequent to that.

“The mobile bus is one example of innovative practice, and I expect to see others develop around the country in response to the cataract initiative. “As well as Government commitment, we need the goodwill of health professionals, and I am delighted at the support we are receiving,” Annette King said.

Funding for the cataract project will be allocated to DHBs on a population basis. DHBs are expected to use their own facilities as the first option, those of neighbouring DHBs if more capacity is needed, and private facilities when required.

Helen Clark said when the cataract initiative is fully implemented, there will be more equal access to services around the country.

“For example, DHBs will be encouraged to consider using the mobile bus, particularly to improve access for those living in rural areas, for the elderly and those people who find transport difficult to arrange,” Helen Clark said.

“We are achieving equality of access with the orthopaedics project as well, and both initiatives illustrate this Government’s commitment to building a fair and inclusive society.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels