Patients pay for summer surgery shutdowns

Published: Tue 23 Dec 2003 10:01 AM
Patients pay for summer surgery shutdowns
Thousands of seriously ill patients are in for a summer of pain and uncertainty as surgery around the country is being delayed at cash-strapped hospitals, says National's Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.
Auckland District Health Board is postponing 1389 operations, Waitemata DHB reports hospitals will be shut for over a month, Lakes DHB for 26 days, and both the Nelson Marlborough DHB and the Southland DHB will shutdown elective surgery for over 40 days.
"DHBs, under orders from the Government to cut their deficits, are closing theatres for longer this summer, delaying operations for patients in serious need of surgery," says Dr Scott.
"Labour has already dumped tens of thousands of patients from surgery waiting lists this year, leaving too many people suffering unnecessarily.
"You can't take a summer holiday from illness and pain.
"At Christmas time we should be celebrating life, yet people are having their quality of life put at risk by an ineffective health infrastructure and continued surgery delays," says Dr Scott.

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