Last year nearly 45,000 Kiwis were sent back to their GPs without getting to see specialists they were referred to, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.
“This is a shocking figure and underlines how far the cut of $1.7 billion dollars has hurt health.
“Overall specialist refusals have increased over the 2014 -15 year with the biggest increases in refusals by the Waikato and Waitemata District Health Boards.
“In Waitemata over 1500 people more than the year before were refused, while in the Waikato the number of refusals jumped by nearly 500 patients.
“Hundreds more patients were also turned away in Northland.
“This means that people who should be productive members of their community are on the scrapheap. They are being denied care because our hospitals are not being funded to meet demand.
“New figures show that twelve out of our twenty DHBs are getting less money out of the Budget once they have made the adjustment for inflation and population growth.
“The Minister has to fund health properly. At the moment thousands of New Zealanders are being ignored when it comes to essential elective surgery,” says Annette King.