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Dramatic decline in heart surgery in Auckland

Dr Jonathan Coleman
National Party Associate Health Spokesman

22 March 2006

Dramatic decline in heart surgery in Auckland

There has been a 50% decline in open heart surgery at Auckland DHB over the past three years, says National Party Associate Health spokesman Dr Jonathan Coleman.

“Only 394 procedures were performed last year at Auckland DHB, compared with more than twice that number in 2002, and the drop is not explained by alternative new treatments such as angioplasty,” says Dr Coleman.

“Furthermore, 133 people who have seen a heart doctor and are sicker than the threshold for treatment are sitting around waiting, with no commitment that they will actually get an operation.

“A further 140 sick people had been given a commitment to open heart surgery but had been waiting for more than six months, and a further 85 were on ‘active review’, but hadn’t been seen by a heart doctor for more than six months.

“When you look at the situation in Auckland, why should New Zealanders have any confidence that this Labour Government is able to get them the life-saving heart operations they need?”


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