1 Feb 2014

Hopes for more arthritis focus

9:25 am on 1 February 2014

Arthritis New Zealand hopes extra Government money for non-urgent surgery is a sign of more to come.

District health boards are to receive a further $10 million to provide more elective surgery over the next five months.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said the funding will allow more than 1800 additional operations for knee and hip joint replacements, cataracts, and ear, nose and throat operations.

Arthritis New Zealand chief executive Sandra Kirby said while the one-off injection is terrific for those on waiting lists, a more permanent solution is needed to address the problem of not enough people actually getting on elective surgery waiting lists in the first place.

Ms Kirby said it is hoped the move indicates an intention to do more longer-term and to make sure ancillary services such as physiotherapy are also funded, which might reduce the need for joint replacements in some people.