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Over half a million patients receive specialist assessments

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health


8 September 2015 Media Statement
Over half a million patients receive specialist assessments

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says new data shows over half a million patients received a First Specialist Assessment (FSA) in the last year.

“Increasing access to specialist care has been a priority for this Government. New data shows more New Zealanders than ever before are receiving FSAs,” says Dr Coleman.

“In the last financial year 542,645 patients received a medical or surgical FSA compared to 432,048 in 2008/2009. That’s an increase of 26 per cent.

“This means that around 10 per cent of New Zealanders had one or more FSAs in the last financial year for either medical or surgical needs.”

In the last financial year 220,449 patients received a medical FSA compared to 170,822 in 2008/2009 – a 29 per cent increase.

322,196 patients received a surgical FSA in the last financial year compared to 261,226 in 2008/2009 – a 24 per cent increase.

“While there is still more to be done, we are heading in the right direction. The answer to increased demand is to do more – whether it’s assessments or operations,” says Dr Coleman.

“These improvements are a credit to our dedicated health workforce, and are supported by the $400 million extra invested into health in Budget 2015.”

Notes to editors

First Specialist Assessments (FSAs) are defined into two categories:

• Surgical FSAs are for patients whose condition is managed by a surgeon, for example - orthopaedics, general surgery, ophthalmology.

• Medical FSAs are for patients whose condition is managed by a physician, for example - cardiology, respiratory, renal.

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