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Ryall: More Patients Seeing Surgical Specialists

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

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

Health Minister Tony Ryall says, "Surgical staff in the public health service completed a total of 274,174 surgical first specialist assessments (FSAs) in the 2009/10 year which is an increase of nearly 12,500 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.

"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."

Between the 2000/01 and the 2007/08 years, the number of FSAs increased by just 1,858 to just over 253,000.

"This Government has put a total of more than $1.2 billion into health in the last two years, and staff have done well delivering extra services like these, for patients," says Mr Ryall.

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