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More people in Taranaki are getting their First Surgical Assessment, and faster, compared to seven years ago.

“New Zealanders are living longer lives, so access to elective surgery is more important than ever,” says Jonathan Young

“In Taranaki 8,377 patients received a First Surgical Assessment in the last financial year, compared to 5,345 in 2008/2009. That’s an increase of 57 percent.

“In 2006 there were over 15,000 patients nationwide waiting over six months for their First Specialist Assessment. This number has reduced significantly under the National-led Government and today they are just 21.

“As a result of speeding up access to First Surgical Assessments more patients are going on to get the operations they need.

“Improving access to electives is a multi-dimensional goal. It includes reducing waiting times, increasing the number of First Specialist Assessments and elective discharges.

“The number of patients receiving elective surgery across the country has increased from 117,954 in 2007/08 to 167,188 in 2014/15. That’s around 50,000 more surgeries over the last seven years - a 42 percent increase,” says Jonathan Young

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