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Hodgson admits less people getting surgery

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

14 March 2006

Hodgson admits less people getting surgery

Health Minister Pete Hodgson has finally admitted that fewer people are getting elective surgery than five years ago, says National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

In Parliament today, Mr Hodgson admitted that the number of people getting elective operations had fallen from 98,000 in 2001 to 96,000 in 2005.

"Despite all the money, fewer people are getting surgery," says Mr Ryall.

"On top of this, we know that the seriousness of elective operations is much higher than five years ago. Patients have to be sicker now than five years ago to get an elective operation."

Auckland DHB has already confirmed that 'the patients treated from the waiting list are sicker now, on average, then they were five years ago.'

"This is a false economy. The consequence of delayed elective surgery is that patients develop chronic conditions which end up costing more to fix later on.

"Mr Hodgson cannot hide behind 'imperfect data' when Labour has been in office for so long.

"In spite of all the promises and hype, the Government has failed to make any real inroads into boosting elective surgery over the past five years.

"Today, Mr Hodgson has finally admitted that after six years of Annette King, the health system still only gets five and a half out of ten," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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