46% increase in Taranaki patients receiving specialist assessments



Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

23 March 2016

46% increase in Taranaki patients receiving specialist assessments

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says latest figures show a record number of Taranaki DHB patients received a medical or surgical First Specialist Assessment (FSA) last year.

“Increasing access to specialist care has been a priority for this Government. New data shows more people in Taranaki than ever before are receiving FSAs,” says Dr Coleman.

“14,374 Taranaki patients received a medical or surgical FSA in 2015 compared to 9,814 in 2009 – that’s a 46 per cent increase.”

5,849 Taranaki patients received a medical FSA last year, compared to 3,870 in 2009 – a 51 per cent increase. 8,525 patients received a surgical FSA last year, compared to 5,944 in 2009 - an increase of 43 per cent.

FSAs cover over 10 specific surgical services, including ophthalmology, ear nose and throat, and general surgery. In Taranaki the number of orthopaedic assessments increased by 17 per cent - from 1,219 in 2009 to 1,421 in 2015

“While there’s still more to be done, we are heading in the right direction. The answer to increased demand is to do more – whether it’s assessments or operations,” says Dr Coleman.

“These improvements are a credit to our dedicated health workforce, and are supported by the $400 million extra invested into health in Budget 2015.”

This is supported by the $65 million funding increase Taranaki DHB has received over the last seven years. This includes $14 million in new money for this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $338 million for 2015/2016.

Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig 021 838 372


Last updated: Thursday, March 24, 2016

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