Elective Surgery

Waiting for your Elective Surgery - Could it take years to clear the backlog due to Covid-19?

Jun 18, 2020 1:05:57 PM / by HealthCarePlus


In recent weeks there has been a lot of press about the impact of Covid-19 on elective surgery. We all know that in less challenging times the waiting lists at Public Hospitals for elective surgery are long but following the Covid-19 restrictions, are they going to get even longer? 

According to a recent article from Stuff it could take years to clear the backlog caused by Covid-19. 

In that article, senior doctors warn there aren't enough specialists to increase capacity and many work in both the public and private sectors.

Sarah Dalton, of the Association Salaried Medical Specialists, said New Zealand didn't have enough senior doctors before the pandemic to deal with regular patient load and “nothing has changed”.

However, New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association president Richard Whitney responded by stating that the private sector had the extra capacity to take on more patients through contracts with District Health Boards.

As our hospitals return to a more normal level of service, it will take time to recover and deal with the backlog.  In response the Government set aside $282 million in Budget 2020 to clear District Health Board backlogs.  It has increased funding for District Health Boards, as well as additional funding to deliver approximately 153,000 more surgeries and procedures, radiology scans and specialist appointments to help clear the COVID-19 backlog, but is it enough?

Our public health service will still continue to look after acute needs and accidental injury (ACC) but the need to see a specialist, have non-acute surgery or a diagnostic procedure (such as an MRI), the waiting lists look like getting longer for the foreseeable future.

That's where we can help and our Hospital Select plan could be useful.  We compliment the challenges the Government has by reducing the demand in the public health system by providing cover for combinations of specialist care and elective (non-urgent) surgery needs.  It also gives our members control over when and where you are treated for health issues. In many cases they are also usually able to choose the doctor, specialist or hospital that they prefer.     

Having that type of hospital cover health gives you peace of mind knowing that you can get the medical treatment you need, when you need it.

So whilst it's great to see the Government investing in the Health System, we can also take control ourselves and avoid those queues.



It's time to protect you and your family from the unexpected

Hospital Select is designed for the NZ health system - with up to $300,000* per admission providing realistic, affordable cover for surgery, cancer treatment, and a wide range of specialist consultations, scans and tests.

  • Protect your family from the high cost of surgery
  • Deal with unexpected medical situations faster, often with earlier intervention 
  • Reduce waiting times for surgery, and time off work leading to better outcomes and recovery 

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Tags: Hospital Cover