6 Jul 2009

Govt puts extra $5 million into cardiac surgery

7:17 am on 6 July 2009

The Government has given the Auckland District Health Board an extra $5 million to treat patients waiting for cardiac surgery.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says the DHB currently has an unacceptable number of people on its cardiac surgery waiting lists.

He says that for some time, patients in Auckland have been waiting for longer than they should for cardiac surgery.

Mr Ryall says an audit carried out in May showed that 141 cardiac patients waited longer than was clinically appropriate for operations.

The DHB has managed to reduce the number to 99 since then.

Chief medical advisor Dr David Sage says that number is still unacceptable and it is hoped the board can further reduce waiting times, so patients have to wait no more than three months for cardiac surgery.

Mr Ryall says the extra $5 million will mean that those patients will have operations by the end of October.