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Auckland Heart Surgery Delays Alarm Tariana Turia

Auckland Heart Surgery Delays Alarm Tariana Turia

Hon Tariana Turia, Health Spokesperson for the Māori Party

Friday 9 May 2008

Revelations that waiting times for heart surgery have more than doubled in Auckland have worried Māori Party health spokesperson, Tariana Turia.

“Improving all cardiovascular outcomes for Māori is an urgent health priority for this nation” said Mrs Turia.

“In the 45-64 year age group, rates of hospital admissions for Māori men and women with heart failure are more than seven times that of non-Māori”.

“So when we learn that the average wait for treatment from Auckland District Health Board has increased from 27 days in 2002/03 to the latest figure - 64 days - we know inevitably, that there will be many whānau Māori who will be affected”.

“The delays in coronary care provision, specifically coronary bypass graft surgery to address left-main disease, may have fatal consequences for patients at Auckland Hospital” said Mrs Turia.

“Māori revascularization rates are already considerably less than what might be expected given the much higher mortality rates” said Mrs Turia.

“The last thing we want to see is the emergence of new system level barriers such as delayed waiting times, which increase the risk of heart failure and death”.


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