People Missing out on Surgery is a Dismal Situation – ASMS



“The latest survey findings are further dismal evidence that people are not getting the surgical treatment they need, and the Government needs to act to remedy this,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was commenting on a survey commissioned by health insurers and private hospitals which found that 170,000 people needing surgery were not even making it onto surgical waiting lists, and that waiting times were getting longer for people already on the lists:

“These survey findings are consistent with previous research and really should be a wake-up call for the Minister of Health. They show that New Zealanders are struggling to get the surgery their doctors consider they need.”

Mr Powell says the ASMS supports the call by Christchurch surgeon and Chair of the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust Phil Bagshaw, who is leading a project to measure unmet health need, for ongoing independent research in this area.

“It’s a poor situation when hospital specialists who have been trained to make clinical decisions about the treatment required to help people return to good health or to manage their health are forced to stand by as thousands of people miss out on the surgery they so clearly need,” he says.