Rotorua Weekender: 41 per cent increase in elective surgery for Rotorua

Friday, August 21, 2015

The doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals at Lakes DHB do a great job. Over the last 7 years as your MP I continue to be impressed with their professionalism and dedication to making people’s lives better. In fact I’ve a little first-hand experience from a night spent at Rotorua hospital a few years ago. They deserve our thanks and ongoing support for a job well done.

Budget 2015 saw the health spend grow to a record $15.9 billion this year, including over $300 million for district health boards to help meet demand from population growth and provide extra services for New Zealanders. Rotorua benefitted from this investment with extra money for our own DHB, with Lakes District Health Board’s funding increasing by $54 million over the last seven years.

In May we announced $98 million from Budget 2015 to boost elective surgery and improve the prevention and treatment of orthopaedic conditions. This funding is helping deliver an average extra 4,000 elective operations per year over the next four years, meaning New Zealanders can live longer, healthier lives, free of pain. Because of this investment, and the hard work by staff at the Lakes DHB, over 4,000 people received elective surgery. This is in stark contrast to just over 2,500 in 2007/2008. That’s a 41 per cent increase, meaning more people living without pain in their hips and knees, making life a lot easier for them.

This number in Rotorua is comparable to the nationwide trend in increased numbers of elective surgery. The number of New Zealanders receiving elective surgery across the country has increased by 42 per cent in the last seven years, from 117,954 in 2007/08 to 167,188 in 2014/15

We are funding areas which make a real difference to Kiwi families. All children under 13 are now eligible to receive free doctor’s visits as part of the Government’s $90 million investment to extend free doctor’s visits to 700,000 children. So far 97 percent of general practices with enrolled children aged 6-12 have opted in to this scheme, with 99 per cent of children under 13 receiving free healthcare.

New Zealanders deserve a healthcare system that provides the best care when they need it the most, which is why we will continue to make big investments in our health sector. Many more New Zealanders are now pain free, after receiving important and life changing elective surgery, allowing people longer and easier lives. We will continue to invest in our District Health Boards to ensure that our hard working and dedicated health professionals have the right tools to keep Rotorua people happy and healthy