SDHB ranks worst in promised treatment

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files

For five successive months,  the Southern District Health Board has had the highest proportion of patients missing out on treatment after it was promised, new data reveals.

More than 10% of patients in July were promised treatment but did not get it within the required four months, the Ministry of Health website shows.

District health boards are careful to only promise treatment to patients they can realistically deal with in the required timeframe.

The southern board had the highest non-compliance rate for treatment times in each of the five months to July, the most recent month available.

Its compliance on first specialist assessments was the second poorest in the country, and 4.5% of patients waited longer than four months.

In crisis-hit urology, 38% of patients were not treated on time, and nearly 19% did not get their  assessment on time.

The board has started implementing an action plan in Dunedin Hospital’s urology department because long waiting times exposed some patients to significant clinical risk.

Ophthalmology appears to have markedly improved - just 2.7% of patients were not treated on time.

The DHB has had a particular focus on its eye department since it was revealed dozens of patients lost part of their sight due to delays.

Financial year-end information shows the SDHB was one of only five boards to achieve its 2016-17 budget.

It was still in deficit ($21.8 million) but that result was better than projected.

The remaining 15 boards posted a result worse than their planned budgets.

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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