ASMS

Working for better health care in New Zealand

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) is the professional association and union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand.

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Cackhanded Management of Public Hospital Waiting Lists

18 March 2014 By Lydia Schumacher
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Lydia Schumacher

An article published today about a woman’s struggle to get onto a waiting list for much-needed surgery once more highlights the Government’s cackhanded management of hospital waiting lists, says ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell.

Wellington customer services worker Maree Drumm has a painful cyst the size of a tennis ball behind her knee and can’t sleep more than a few hours each night – yet she is unable to get onto a waiting list for an operation (Dominion Post, 18 March).

“The Government has set targets for the amount of time it considers acceptable to wait for elective surgery – the only problem is that there’s a large number of people who can’t even get onto the waiting list,” says Mr Powell.

“In effect this has created a hidden waiting list of people requiring surgery or other treatment, who are living in pain while the Government ensures the official waiting list figures show a steady and rosy improvement.”

“It’s extremely frustrating for the country’s senior doctors who see there is a need for surgery in cases like Ms Drumm’s, but are unable to provide it due to the narrow focus on meeting the Government’s health targets.”

“The Government’s position is ethically challenged,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR mistar southfield .