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More Canterbury patients receive specialist assessments

More Canterbury patients receive specialist assessments

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says new data shows a record number of Canterbury 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 56,527 Canterbury patients received a medical or surgical FSA compared to 42,095 in 2008/2009 - an increase of 34 per cent.”

25,792 Canterbury patients received a medical FSA in the last financial year, compared to 17,996 in 2008/2009 – a 43 per cent increase. 30,735 patients received a surgical FSA in the last financial year, compared to 24,099 in 2008/2009 - an increase of 28 per cent.

As a result of speeding up access to FSAs more Canterbury patients are getting the operations they need. In the last financial year 17,714 elective surgeries were carried out, compared to 11,526 in 2007/2008. That’s a 54 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 $254 million funding increase Canterbury DHB has received over the last seven years. This includes $26 million in new money for this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $1.368 billion for 2015/2016.


ENDS

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