Health ser­vices big­ger and bet­ter

MP’S COL­UMN

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

When­ever I ask my South Waikato con­stituents what is­sues are im­por­tant to them, front­line health ser­vices are al­ways near the top of the list.

Health sec­tors around the world face many chal­lenges – grow­ing cost pres­sures, age­ing pop­u­la­tions, tough global eco­nomic con­di­tions.

Amid this, Na­tional is pro­tect­ing and grow­ing our pub­lic health ser­vice. This year we are spend­ing $14.12 bil­lion on health.

We are mak­ing each health dol­lar go fur­ther with a fo­cus on bet­ter ser­vices and less bu­reau­cracy. We have em­ployed 1000 more doc­tors, 2000 more nurses, and 1000 fewer back of­fice staff.

We have de­liv­ered 35,000 more elec­tive dis­charges a year than un­der the pre­vi­ous Government. In 2005, there were 33,000 pa­tients wait­ing more than six months for elec­tive surgery and sur­gi­cal First Spe­cial­ist As­sess­ments. To­day there are 600.

All pa­tients who need ra­dio­ther­apy or chemo­ther­apy treat­ment, and are ready for it, can now be­gin treat­ment within four weeks. This is the world gold stan­dard.

Emer­gency de­part­ment pa­tients are also re­ceiv­ing timely treat­ment with 93 per cent be­ing seen within six hours, a sub­stan­tial im­prove­ment on un­der 70 per cent in 2009.

Lo­cally, Toko­roa Hospi­tal is pro­vid­ing ser­vices to the ru­ral com­mu­nity and I will work hard to make sure th­ese ser­vices are con­tin­ued to be de­liv­ered to ev­ery­one in the South Waikato.

Louise Up­ston

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