The high number of patients waiting for urgent
orthopaedic surgery at Dunedin Hospital are being managed by
cancelling non-urgent surgery, surgical medical director Murray
''We have a high number of patients requiring acute
orthopaedic surgery at Dunedin Hospital.''
''We have made moves to accommodate two acute lists per day,
and at times when the demand is extremely high, three can be
The Otago Daily Times understands there has been
concern in the hospital that not enough elective work was
''It is important for the outcomes for many acute patients
that they get prompt attention. We have a process to allow
the timely cancellation of non-urgent elective work to manage
this and to ensure patients get prompt treatment,'' Mr
Fosbender said in a statement to the ODT.
At health board meetings this week it was shown that urgent
surgical work was 14% over its expected volume, but despite
that the board was not falling behind on elective surgery.
High acute demand can lead to elective surgery being
cancelled, which can trigger financial penalties for the
health board if targets are not met.
The board was 3% over its plan for elective surgery this
financial year, although it fell behind for the month of
January by 10%.
Acute work was 14% over plan this year, and 8% over plan in
The acute readmission rate (within 28 days) was 10.8% in
January. Chairman Joe Butterfield asked at Thursday's full
health board meeting in Invercargill if the board risked
Patient services executive director Lexie O'Shea said while
there were areas of concern, the board was confident of
meeting its targets. The hospital committee heard on
Wednesday that Dunedin's maternity service had a busy
January, with 175 deliveries, 16% more than usual.