Elective surgeries put on hold causes more pain for Kiwis

It’s no secret that the Kiwi health care system is in a crisis, with many having to wait months or even years to be seen by specialists. The Covid pandemic has seen our public healthcare waitlists skyrocket, thanks to many appointments and surgeries placed on hold. Staff illnesses and hospital bed shortages are getting worse, due to not only to the pandemic but the current flu season which has been the worst we’ve seen in some time. Paired with staff shortages and the inability to fill job vacancies, we are left with an understaffed and underperforming public healthcare system. 

This article from Stuff shows just how dire the situation is, with elective surgery theatre lists being slashed across the country. In early May the elective surgery waitlist had grown to 27,000 for planned, non-acute treatment, up from 8,000 in February 2020, before the pandemic took hold.  A surgeon in Christchurch said there were 6,600 people waiting for elective hip, knee and spine surgeries. Over a recent 8-week period he would have normally completed 16 operations, whereas in reality he had just completed one. Instead he and his colleagues were operating on trauma patients.

So what does this mean for Kiwis? While no-one will die from not receiving elective hip or knee surgery, the pain can often be so unbearable and make day-to-day life and work nearly impossible. For many who have to wait years to get this necessary surgery, this takes a huge toll on their quality of life.

Having healthcare insurance means that you can jump ahead of the public queue, and be seen by private specialists. It also means that should you need surgery, it’s done much quicker via a private surgeon, meaning you avoid long public waitlists. 

When it comes to healthcare insurance there are many different options that can be tailored to meet your current needs, lifestyle and budget. We recommend sitting down with our insurance advisor, Allanah, and she will help you work out a plan that suits you. 

Give our local Central Otago insurance advisor, Allanah, a call today on 021 974 853