Labour candidate on elective surgery

The Wairarapa Times-Age reports:

Wairarapa residents have the second best access to elective surgeries in the country.

Minister Tony Ryall said more than $11 million had been poured into health service improvements in the region over the past three years and in that time 264 extra elective surgeries have been completed,

One would think this is a good thing, right?

Mr Ryall said performance efficiencies in Wairarapa over the past three years included more specialist appointments and shorter waiting times in emergency departments and for cancer radiation treatment.

There had been a 25 per cent increase in publicly funded chemotherapy clinics, record levels of immunisation, and improved diabetes and cardiovascular services and help for smokers to quit, he said.

Also sounds good I would have thought?

However, Wairarapa candidate said the increases in elective surgery turnover “may not be all they seem” and that other health services in the region had been sacrificed for increased surgical funding. …

“The fact is that funding cuts have reduced the capacity of many health services. Front-line staff are doing back office work as well and everything else is getting squeezed to put more money into sexy elective surgery numbers,” Mr Bott said.

So Bott thinks elective surgery operations are “sexy’. In the dismissive context he uses it, he implies superficially attractive but not really that important.

I wonder if Mr Bott has ever been in need of surgery, and had to wait years on a waiting list? I suspect he would be less dismissive of it then.

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