(National Party media release)

The number of people on the surgical wait list has doubled in just 10 months, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“The health sector is under immense pressure, but Health Minister Andrew Little’s ideologically driven health restructure does nothing except create more delays for our vulnerable Kiwis.

“In July last year, the number of people waiting more than four months for a hospital procedure was over 14,000. By April this year, that number doubled to almost 30,000.

“That is nearly 30 times the number of people waiting for surgery compared to when National handed over Government in 2017.  

“What makes matters worse is that for Kiwis to be included on the surgical wait list, they have to be referred by a specialist – but those wait times have blown out too. People waiting more than four months to see a specialist is already up to 36,000.

“When things get desperate, Kiwis head to the Emergency Department where there is even more waiting to be done, as ED wait times are the worst in at least a decade.

“Health Minister Andrew Little will be known as ‘The Minister of Waiting’. He has forced our vulnerable Kiwis to wait longer in almost every area of the health sector.

“Despite being warned by the health sector in July last year, Andrew Little has spent money on bureaucratic health reforms instead of on people. He has failed at his core responsibility of ensuring Kiwis get access to appropriate health care.”