25 Apr 2012

Thousands waiting too long for elective surgery

6:06 pm on 25 April 2012

Nearly 3000 people have been waiting longer than six months for elective surgery as district health boards fail to meet Government-imposed maximum wait times.

Latest figures from the Ministry of Health show that at January this year, 2903 patients promised elective surgery had been waiting too long for treatment.

The Waikato DHB has the most delays, with 617 people on the waiting list for more than six months.

Chief operating officer Jan Adams says their biggest problem is not having enough capacity for more surgery and they are sending some patients to private hospitals and to other DHBs for treatment.

The Auckland DHB is the second-worst performer, with 431 people waiting longer than they should be.

However, nationwide, the number of people waiting longer than six months for surgery is down by about 1000 on February last year.