6 Aug 2009

More public patients could get private surgery

3:11 pm on 6 August 2009

The Government is considering extending arrangements so that private hospitals perform more elective surgery for public patients.

Protocols for the use of private hospitals have already been relaxed, to allow district health boards to make greater use of them.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, who has recently returned from looking at health systems in the Netherlands, Spain and Britain, says he wants the Government to go further.

He believes private hospitals could be contracted for greater amounts of elective surgery under the public health system.