23 Nov 2015

Massive drop in surgery waiting lists

5:46 pm on 23 November 2015

Waiting lists for elective surgery have dropped across the country, with some figures falling by two thirds since January.

New figures have been released in a report by the Office of the Auditor-General.

Since January, the number of people waiting more than four months for a specialist assessment fell from 552 to 160.

The number of people waiting more than four months for treatment, meanwhile, fell from 606 to just over 257.

The figures were well within the buffer zone and, as at the end of September, more than 99 percent of all patients were treated within assigned timeframes, the report said.

The lists for people waiting for more than six months were also generally dropping.

The report's author, Leanne Arker, said one of the areas looked at was whether heart surgery patients were being treated in order of priority.

"For many years in the past this has been a problem area, and the DHBs (district health boards) made progress in 2013 when we last reported, and in this report they have made even more progress.

"They are looking at shortening the maximum time for cardiac surgery patients, so we think that's really good."

Read the report on the Office of the Auditor-General's website

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