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Electives lag due to $1.7 billion hole

The lag in hip and knee replacements is a direct consequence of the Government’s $1.7 billion underfunding of health, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. 

“A comprehensive study by the University of Otago says that the rate of elective knee and hip surgery is simply not keeping up with population growth.

“The problem is that per head of population, surgery rates have decreased by 0.6 per cent. Jonathan Coleman has to face the music and answer questions about funding. 

“If the Government doesn’t do something the problem is going to become even more acute as our population continues to age. 

“In the past year data from District Health Boards shows that nearly 45,000 Kiwis were sent back to their GPs without getting to see specialists they were referred to. 

“The Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch DHBs have the worst access to publically funded joint replacement. Dunedin and Hamilton are not far behind. 

“Only a Labour-led Government will fund health properly, so that New Zealanders can get the healthcare they deserve,” says Dr David Clark.