25% increase in Tairawhiti patients receiving specialist assessments

24 March 2016

 Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says latest figures show a record number of Tairawhiti patients received a medical or surgical First Specialist Assessment (FSA) last year.

“Increasing access to specialist care has been a priority for this Government. New data shows more people in Tairawhiti than ever before are receiving FSAs,” says Dr Coleman.

“7,707 Tairawhiti patients received a medical or surgical FSA in 2015 compared to 6,175 in 2009 – that’s a 25 per cent increase.”

3,454 Tairawahiti patients received a medical FSA last year, compared to 2,372 in 2009 – a 46 per cent increase. 4,253 patients received a surgical FSA last year, compared to 3,803 in 2009 - an increase of 12 per cent.

“While there’s still more to be done, we are heading in the right direction. The answer to increased demand is to do more – whether it’s assessments or operations,” says Dr Coleman.

“These improvements are a credit to our dedicated health workforce, and are supported by the $400 million extra invested into health in Budget 2015.”

This is supported by the $32 million funding increase Tairawhiti DHB has received over the last seven years. This includes $3 million in new money for this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $159 million for 2015/2016.