Exclusion from waiting list shows ‘cackhanded’ health policy, say doctors

News from Association of Salaried Medical Specialists
A report today about a Wellington woman’s struggle to get on to 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 at Wellington Hospital.

“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 is ethically challenged,” concluded Mr Powell.

 

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