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Elective surgery rates up 42 per cent

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says more New Zealanders are receiving the elective surgeries they need compared to seven years ago.

“As New Zealanders live longer lives, access to elective surgery is becoming more important than ever,” says Dr Coleman.

“Improving access to electives is a multi-dimensional goal. It includes reducing waiting times, increasing the number of First Specialist Assessments and elective discharges.

“The number of patients receiving elective surgery across the country has increased from 117,954 in 2007/08 to 167,188 in 2014/15. That’s around 50,000 more surgeries over the last seven years – a 42 percent increase.

“The elective surgery target of 4,000 more operations a year has again been exceeded in 2014/15 with over 5,000 electives carried out.

“This lift in elective surgery rates is a credit to the hard working health professionals working across the country.”

These improvements are supported by the $400 million invested into health this year in Budget 2015.

The Government has committed to investing around $1.7 billion in health over the next four years for new initiatives and to meet cost pressures and population growth.

This includes $98 million to provide more New Zealanders with timely elective surgery, and to improve the prevention and treatment of orthopaedic conditions.

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