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Thousands of patients go without treatment

Thousands of patients go without treatment because of Government ACC cutbacks

ACC cutbacks mean New Zealanders are not getting the health services they need to keep working, Labour Health spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.

“Orthopaedic surgeon Josie Sinclair has written to me expressing serious concern that up to 80 percent of patients she has recommended for shoulder surgery have been declined by ACC,” Ruth Dyson said.

“It’s frightening that medical advice is being ignored by Government Ministers.

“During the first nine months of this year the number of elective surgeries declined by ACC almost doubled. In the first nine months of 2008, 4335 had elective surgery declined by ACC and in the first nine months of this year 8454 people had their surgery declined.

“That’s nearly 9000 people who had their surgery declined and were either dumped off ACC books and on to the health system or were left to languish.

“National said it wanted to get people back to work as soon as possible, but taking months to make a decision means people are out of work for longer.

“Dr Sinclair informs me that ACC have quoted information from as long ago as 1937 in order to justify their decision to decline funding for surgery.

“National came to Government promising to listen to doctors and frontline health workers. But now when frontline health workers are telling them that their policies are resulting in patients going without treatment the Ministers of Health and ACC refuse to listen.

“Thousands of patients are going without treatment because of National’s short-sighted ACC cutbacks,” Ruth Dyson said.

ENDS

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