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Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble

The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. 

“Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this Government it has fallen to just 24 per cent.

“District Health Boards like Hutt Valley, Lakes, Mid Central, Northland,  Tairawhiti, South Canterbury, Waikato and Whanganui have all performed fewer hip and knee operations in 2015-16 than the year before. 

“I have seen cases, such as a 77 year old Mosgiel woman who told me she qualified for funded surgery but the letter never had a date for the operation. She is now having to cope with increasing pain but she is allergic to many painkillers and needs the surgery. People like her deserve an operation when they need it not when Dr Coleman thinks it looks good for his targets. 

“Recent research from Otago by Professor Gwynne - Jones, published in April in the New Zealand Medical Journal, shows that New Zealanders are more disabled  now when they receive their knee and hip operations than they were previously. 

“Jonathan Coleman should be urging the Prime Minister to restore the $1.7 billion cut from Health rather than tax cuts,” says Annette King.