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New Zealand Specific Healthcare Question 1
Discuss a health issue you would prioritise if you were the Minister of Health, and what strategies you would use.
As health minister, I would act to immediately address surgery waiting lists, with the initial focus being in Auckland. As New Zealands largest city, Auckland currently has four major hospitals, as well as superclinic to complete both major and minor surgeries. Even with these hospitals operating at full capacity, there are exceptionally long wait times for patients. This is especially obvious when considering individuals whose medical conditions are deemed not urgent but still affect their quality of life, or prevent them from fully contributing to their respective communities. For a non-urgent surgery such as grommets or tonsillectomies patients can be on a waiting list for up to four months before an intial surgery consult is even booked and then another four months before being treated. For many of these non-urgent issues not being resolved quickly, it leads to move money being spent by the government on doctors visits and prescriptions especially in those age groups where medical care and prescriptions are heavily subsidized or free.
The pressure could be relieved if there were more day-surgery clinics operating , especially in South Auckland to relieve the pressure and free up major hospitals such as Middlemore to focus solely on major surgeries.