Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day: About 55 per cent of planned surgeries rescheduled

Hospitals have deferred many surgeries planned for the public holiday on September 26. Photo / Getty Images


Between 350 and 400 patients have had surgery deferred because of the national public holiday to mark the Queen’s death.

Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ said the impact varied by district, with some hospitals only able to do a quarter of the operations that had been planned for September 26, and others managing to get 75 per cent done.

Nationwide, about 55 per cent of procedures had to be rescheduled.

A Te Whatu Ora spokesman said its regional teams had been trying to minimise the impact of the public holiday while also giving staff the chance to take a break.

Most patients were able to get a new date at the time they were contacted about their surgery being deferred, the spokesman said.

All acute or emergency operations would still go ahead, he said.

Some surgical staff had worried about the impact of the public holiday when they were already trying to catch up on long delays for planned care made worse by the impact of winter illnesses on the system.

Many health staff were still working, which was lessening the disruption.

A taskforce set up in May by the Government to look at how to cut the long waiting lists has delivered its recommendations to Te Whatu Ora.

It will be reviewed by senior staff at the organisation before being given to Health Minister Andrew Little to consider and release publicly.

Some work has already begun on the recommendations, with many patients who have been waiting for more than a year for surgery now booked in at the request of the taskforce.

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