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Data shows how many missed out on surgery

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/07/2016

Just over 7700 people missed out on surgeries over a three-month period last year, just-released data shows.

However, those who missed out made up just five per cent of the total number of people who were referred for specialist care between October 1 and December 31.

Of the close to 162,000 referrals made for a first specialist assessment at hospitals, 87 per cent - more than 141,100 - were accepted.

Around 7700 - five per cent - were declined because they did not meet the "threshold" for publicly-funded surgery.

A further eight per cent - almost 13,000 - had their requests held or declined for other reasons.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the figures, released on Tuesday, are similar to those from the first three months of preliminary data, which comes from the National Patient Flow project.

Thresholds are set by individual district health boards from year to year to prioritise access to publicly-funded surgeries.

As the integrity of the data improves with each quarterly release, the Ministry of Health expects the number of patients sent back to their GP for care because they didn't meet the threshold could rise to around 10 to 15 per cent.

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