Ian Powell, executive director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, has accused the New Zealand government of data cleansing after it emerged that almost 200,000 thousand people are being kept off elective surgery waiting lists.
According to an article published by Stuff, Mr Powell said
“there was a “de facto” waiting list of “those people waiting for the waiting list” but there were no official figures to indicate how many people were on the de facto list.
“It is very clearly one area the Government doesn’t seem to be interested in having any data on.
“It’s data cleansing. You don’t record because it’s inconvenient to record. That goes back to central Government, not the district health board.”
The existence of a “de-facto” list was revealed in research commissioned by the Health Funds Association of New Zealand and the Private Surgical Hospitals Association.
They found that last year 280,000 people were told they required elective surgery but 170,000 of them weren’t allowed onto waiting lists, which have a 5 month treatment threshold.
Labour Party health spokeswoman MP Annette King said district health boards around the country were sending out letters to thousands of desperate patients saying that while their GP and specialist had recommended surgery – and they would benefit from it – they did not meet the threshold for an operation.
The article cited the case of a man from New Plymouth who needed a hip replacement but was told he was ineligible for the waiting list because “to actually get on the list you have to be on crutches or in a wheelchair” in the meantime, how was he supposed to carry out his work?
Planning to emigrate to New Zealand and thinking it has a first world health service? Be sure to stay healthy your whole life, or be able to fund your own care.
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