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More Lakes Patients Seeing Surgical Specialists

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

"More Lakes patients were assessed by surgical specialists in the past year than ever before, according new figures released by the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says, "The Lakes District Health Board has completed 7,248 first specialist assessments (FSAs) in the 2009/10 year which is an increase of more than 500 patients on the previous year.

"Seeing a specialist is a gateway to elective surgery, provided surgery is appropriate and available within six months. These appointments are also important for other patients, providing assessment and advice for management of the patient's health issue.

"This government has made improving access to elective surgery a top priority, and Lakes DHB provided more than 300 extra patients with elective operations last year compared with the previous year. FSAs are an important part of delivering on that commitment.

"Under the previous Government, real access to FSAs was cut. The number of specialist appointments available was stagnant most of the time, and didn't keep up with population growth.

"Lakes DHB has received a total of $20 million in extra funding in the last two years, and staff are to be commended for delivering more of these frontline services."

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