If I provide data to a newspaper (and they’ve even won awards off of the back of that info) it is dirty politics, but when a politician does it the Herald journalist takes it and runs a negative hit job on the government and it is business as usual.
Despite figures showing a massive increase in elective surgery since National took over the NZ Herald decides to put NZ First’s negative spin on the headline and the article.
And don’t you just love the weaselly way they introduce the fact that it was NZ First who slipped them the numbers.
The Government’s much-publicised increase in hip, knee and other elective operations has been questioned in light of data which appeared to show the proportion of people missing out on treatment was growing.
But officials say growing waiting lists and a rising number of patients leaving hospital untreated do not tell the whole story.
The number of patients getting elective surgery has steadily increased over the past decade – especially after it was made a national health target in 2007. Since National came to power in 2008, the number of operations has lifted from 118,000 to 162,000 a year.
However, data released under the Official Information Act shows the proportion of patients on waiting lists who were leaving hospital untreated was also rising over the same period. As many as 30 per cent on waiting lists in some regions had their operation delayed or cancelled.
At Auckland District Health Board, there was a waiting list of 27,200 people for elective surgery last year. Of that number, 4558 patients – nearly 20 per cent – were admitted but left hospital without treatment. Last year up to November, 3822 patients out of 22,346 left untreated.