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More Whanganui patients receive specialist assessments

More Whanganui patients receive specialist assessments

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says new data shows a record number of Whanganui patients received a medical or surgical 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.

“Across the country 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 10,450 Whanganui patients received a medical or surgical FSA compared to 7,514 in 2008/2009 - an increase of 39 per cent.”

3,496 Whanganui patients received a medical FSA in the last financial year, compared to 2,853 in 2008/2009 – a 23 per cent increase. 6,954 patients received a surgical FSA in the last financial year, compared to 4,661 in 2008/2009 - an increase of 49 per cent.

As a result of speeding up access to FSAs more Whanganui patients are getting the operations they need. In the last financial year 3,357 elective surgeries were carried out, compared to 2,566 in 2007/2008 - a 31 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.”

This is supported by the $36 million funding increase Whanganui DHB has received over the last seven years. This includes $5 million in new money for this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $215 million for 2015/2016.

ENDS


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