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Cardiothoracic changes to continue at CCDHB

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

7 October 2008

Cardiothoracic changes to continue at CCDHB

Minister of Health David Cunliffe today assured the public that there will be improvements in the level of cardiothoracic surgery at Capital and Coast and nationwide.

“When I asked the Director General of health to investigate the cardiothoracic waiting list at CCDHB earlier this year I also promised to oversee improvements to waiting times, I am now extending that promise nationally.”

Mr Cunliffe said he had been deeply saddened to learn of the eight possibly preventable deaths on the Capital and Coast DHB cardiothoracic waiting list during 2006 and 2007.

Mr Cunliffe extended his deepest sympathies to the families affected.

“The reason we carried out this review was to provide transparency to families and the public and ensure that wherever improvements were needed they were made.

“Today we have provided both transparency to the public and details on how we intend to deliver a better national cardiothoracic service.”

Mr Cunliffe said over the past 12 months he had been working intensively with CCDHB and the Ministry regarding the waiting list and substantial progress has been made on reducing the number of people waiting and particularly reducing the number waiting over six months.

Since 2007 CCDHB cardiac surgery waitlist cut by nearly 50% and the number of people waiting over 6 months has reduced by around 80%.

“I have personally sought to expedite this reduction by seeking assistance from other DHBs.

“Today I have announced a $50 million plan to increase the amount of cardiothoracic surgery by 20 percent over the next four years. This plan was developed by those clinicians working in the frontlines of cardiothoracic’s and supported by the Government.

“This is part of a strategic overhaul of the cardiac services.”

Mr Cunliffe said he was focussed on delivering increased surgery at a nationally consistent level across the five public providers of cardiothoracic services.


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