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Increased mobility for more New Zealanders

Increased mobility for more New Zealanders

Orthopaedic staff exceeded their targets to deliver more major hip and knee operations during the first year of a new Orthopaedic Initiative

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Orthopaedic staff exceeded their targets to deliver more major hip and knee operations during the first year of a new Orthopaedic Initiative, Health Minister Pete Hodgson announced today.

Pete Hodgson says the project, costing $30 million in its first year (to June 2005), resulted in more operations than planned thanks to the dedication and skill of staff working on the project.

The project is a special effort to improve quality of life, by relieving pain and restoring independence. It particularly benefits older New Zealanders who wish to remain mobile and active.

"I am very pleased that boards, surgeons, nurses and other hospital staff have got behind the programme so enthusiastically," Pete Hodgson said.

"The four year project will ultimately make a huge difference to the lives of another 4650 New Zealanders each year. In the first year they aimed for an extra 1890 operations, and surpassed it. During 2005/06 they will perform another 1000 joint operations on top of last year's figure."

Staff completed a total of 7140 major joint operations, which exceeded the already increased target of 6643 operations. The total includes 142 procedures where individuals had two joints operated on at the same time.

"Not only is the initiative delivering more high quality health services to the public it is also providing funds to allow Orthopaedic nurses to expand their specific skills through relevant post graduate courses or attendance at conferences. "

The project, to cost up to an extra $70 million a year when fully implemented in 2007/08, is designed to double the number of major joint operations currently performed.

ENDS

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