INDEPENDENT NEWS

More Taranaki patients receive specialist assessments

Published: Wed 9 Sep 2015 09:04 AM
More Taranaki patients receive specialist assessments
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says new data shows a record number of Taranaki 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 14,034 Taranaki patients received a medical or surgical FSA compared to 9,140 in 2008/2009 - an increase of 54 per cent.”
5,657 Taranaki patients received a medical FSA in the last financial year, compared to 3,795 in 2008/2009 – a 49 per cent increase. 8,377 patients received a surgical FSA in the last financial year, compared to 5,345 in 2008/2009 - an increase of 57 per cent.
As a result of speeding up access to FSAs more Taranaki patients are getting the operations they need. In the last financial year 5,293 elective surgeries were carried out, compared to 3,759 in 2007/2008 - a 41 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 $65 million funding increase Taranaki DHB has received over the last seven years. This includes $14 million in new money for this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $338 million for 2015/2016.
ENDS

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