Bet­ter, faster med­i­cal treat­ment

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion - By LIND­SAY TISCH Waikato MP

Good health is hugely im­por­tant to New Zealand fam­i­lies. A strong pub­lic health ser­vice gives fam­i­lies peace of mind – know­ing that the care they need will be there, when they need it.

And that’s been a pri­or­ity of the Na­tional-led Gov­ern­ment – pro­tect­ing and grow­ing the pub­lic health ser­vice for New Zealand fam­i­lies.

We’re mak­ing good progress with more pa­tients get­ting the treat­ment they need, sooner.

We’ve im­proved ac­cess to elec­tive surgery, there are shorter waits for can­cer treat­ment, and shorter stays in emer­gency de­part­ments.

Im­mu­ni­sa­tion rates for our chil­dren are im­prov­ing, smok­ers are get­ting bet­ter help to quit, and we’re do­ing more heart and di­a­betes checks.

De­spite the eco­nomic chal­lenges, this Gov­ern­ment has con­tin­ued to in­vest strongly in pub­lic health – an av­er­age of $500 mil­lion ex­tra each year.

This year we’ve in­vested $14.7 bil­lion in health ser­vices.

We’ve de­liv­ered 1300 more doc­tors and 3000 more nurses, while em­ploy­ing 1000 fewer back of­fice staff.

Our hos­pi­tal wards are be­com­ing more pro­duc­tive and ef­fi­cient.

Na­tional made elec­tive surgery a real pri­or­ity be­cause we know that when peo­ple can’t get the surgery they need, life can be a lot harder, more painful and un­com­fort­able.

It can be dif­fi­cult to do the sim­ple things we all take for granted.

We’ve in­creased fund­ing for this es­sen­tial surgery in ev­ery Bud­get, and we ex­pect to do the same again this year.

More pa­tients are now get­ting the surgery they need, and they are get­ting it faster.

This year al­most 160,000 New Zealan­ders will get elec­tive op­er­a­tions, such as hip and knee re­place­ments.

That’s 40,000 a year more than un­der Labour.

As part of our drive to make sure pa­tients are get­ting the treat­ment they need sooner, we’re re­duc­ing wait­ing times for peo­ple to see hos­pi­tal spe­cial­ists so they can be as­sessed for surgery.

Our goal is to have no-one wait­ing over four months by the end of 2014.

There’s al­ways more to do and we will con­tinue to in­vest in our health ser­vices. It’s part of our com­mit­ment to de­liver bet­ter, sooner, more con­ve­nient health­care for New Zealand fam­i­lies.

LIND­SAY TISCH

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