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About the Target

What is the target?

The volume of elective surgery will be increased by at least 4000 discharges per year.

Why is the target important?

The government wants the public health system to deliver better, sooner, more convenient healthcare for all New Zealanders.

Elective surgery operations improve quality of life for patients suffering from significant medical conditions but that can be delayed because surgery is not required immediately. For example, a hip replacement can reduce pain and increase function, allowing a person to get back to participating in physical work or other important activities. A cataract operation may ensure someone is able to see well enough to read or to drive their car, while a grommet operation might restore proper hearing to a young person with ‘glue ear’.

In the past, the growth in elective surgical discharges did not keep up with population growth. The rate of growth of elective surgery needs to increase, which in turn, will increase patients’ access to this important service, and should achieve genuine reductions in waiting times for patients.

Who is the Ministry of Health champion of this target?

Clare Perry
Manager Elective Services, Ministry of Health.