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Private hospital capacity to reduce waiting lists

Media statement
For immediate release
9 December 2008

Private hospital capacity to reduce public waiting list

UnitedFuture Leader and Associate Minister of Health Hon Peter Dunne is determined to reduce elective surgery waiting lists by making use of private hospital capacity as set out in the National/UnitedFuture Confidence and Supply Agreement.

“It is my intention to develop a strategy that will alleviate the stress for those people currently languishing on the public waiting list by significantly reducing their wait for surgery,” said Mr Dunne.

“The current situation is that the public health system is failing to keep up with the demands being placed on it and will continue to do so unless that demand is substantially reduced.”

“At the same time there is under-utilised capacity in the private surgical sector.”

“Reducing waiting lists for elective surgery for those who are likely to wait longer than 6 months by requiring DHBs to contract out work to private hospitals has been a central plank of UnitedFuture’s health policy over the last six years.”

“The provision of timely elective surgery procedures is important to the wellbeing of a growing number of older New Zealanders. As the baby boom generation reaches retirement the demands on ‘quality of life’ healthcare, of which elective surgery is the obvious example, will only increase.”

“It is critical that we reduce the growing elective surgery waiting lists as quickly as possible, not only for those currently stuck within the system but for the wellbeing of many more to follow over the next decade or so,” said Mr Dunne.


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