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Surgery, Elective—Improvements Over Last 3 Years

Thursday 6 October 2011 (advance copy) Hansard source (external site)

Wagner7. NICKY WAGNER (National) Link to this
to the Minister of Health

What improvement has there been for patients needing elective surgery over the last three years?

RyallHon TONY RYALL (Minister of Health) Link to this

Mr Speaker—

KingHon Annette King Link to this

Oh, more good news.

RyallHon TONY RYALL Link to this

—more good news. When this Government came to office, elective surgery numbers had flat-lined over 9 years. In fact, access had been cut. The number of operations did not keep up with population growth, according to the Ministry of Health. Since 2008 elective surgery in New Zealand has grown by 22 percent. A total of 27,000 extra people a year are now getting the operations they need. This is a fantastic achievement, and I thank the many doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who have helped deliver this result. This is what happens when we focus on patients instead of on strategies, plans, visions, missions, and frameworks.

WagnerNicky Wagner Link to this

How has this huge increase in elective surgery been achieved?

RyallHon TONY RYALL Link to this

This Government inherited a public health service in disarray. People were left waiting for months and months for treatment, and 30,000 people were culled from hospital waiting lists. This Government has put an average of $500 million a year extra into the health service, 800 extra doctors, and 2,000 extra nurses, and we have had an unwavering focus on improving services for patients in New Zealand.

RobertsonGrant Robertson Link to this

How much of the average $500 million the Minister is claiming that the Government put into the health system was actually reprioritised money?

RyallHon TONY RYALL Link to this

The Government has made it very clear that we have put $1.5 billion of new money into the health service over three Budgets. It is an extraordinary investment in the most difficult of economic times.