More than 100 patients with non-urgent conditions are sitting
on "active review" in the Southern District Health Board's
ear, nose, and throat service, meaning the DHB would like to
offer them surgery within 18 months.
Some GPs fear providing free after-hours care to under-6s
will put more pressure on already stretched services,
particularly in tourist towns and rural areas, Southern
Primary Health Organisation chief executive Ian Macara says.
The Southern District Health Board spends more time
deliberating behind closed doors now because annual planning
work, which used to be done in workshops, has shifted to DHB
meetings, chairman Joe Butterfield says.