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More Waikato patients receiving orthopaedic surgery

Health Minister Tony Ryall says under this government, more Waikato patients are benefitting from orthopaedic surgery.

“In the last five years, 2500 extra Waikato DHB patients have received orthopaedic surgery since 2008. 1131 were for major joints, with most of these for patients over 65 years of age,” says Mr Ryall.

Mr Ryall said every orthopaedic operation has a big impact on the wellbeing of a patient.

“Orthopaedic operations make a real difference to patients and their families – they can reduce pain, help restore independence and greatly improve quality of life,” says Mr Ryall.

Mr Ryall said district health boards delivered 23,000 orthopaedic surgeries across the country last year, including a record 9700 hip and knee operations.

“In the last five years, district health boards have delivered around 4000 more hip and knee operations above level delivered in 2008,” says Mr Ryall.

This increase has been made possible due to the government’s commitment to prioritising health spending despite tight times, says Mr Ryall.

“In many developed nations across the globe, health spending has stagnated due to the economic climate – however in New Zealand, Vote Health has increased by an average $500 million a year,” says Mr Ryall.

“Under this government, record numbers of Kiwis are now receiving elective surgery. Ensuring New Zealanders have access to healthcare will continue to be a priority, and I anticipate further elective surgery funding to be outlined in the upcoming Budget,” says Mr Ryall.

Media contact: Bill de la Mare 021 924 331

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