The Auckland District Health Board will receive an additional $2.5 million over the next three years to improve productivity and provide more care for patients.
Health Minister Tony Ryall has today announced the funding would "increase the number of surgeries performed at Auckland DHB and reduce the time patients wait, by making the whole process more efficient."
He said GPs would have new and clearer clinical guidelines to support them to decide how and where a patient is best treated.
"This will mean fewer patients are unnecessarily referred to hospital outpatient clinics for an assessment, when they could be more appropriately treated by their GP."
Ryall said the DHB was also investing in a new system to improve how they run their daily theatre lists.
"This will reduce patient wait times, provide patients with greater certainty as to when they will have their surgery and reduce the number of surgeries which are cancelled," he said.
Over the past two years Auckland DHB has received $2.3 million for productivity projects which have enabled them to make changes and improve surgical services, Ryall said.
"Fourty percent of patients are now assessed over the phone before surgery rather than having to come into the hospital for an outpatient clinic. And for those patients still needing to attend an outpatient clinic, their wait time has reduced significantly from an average of 55 minutes down to 25 minutes. This is certainly faster and more convenient for patients."
Ryall said the key to the success of the programmes, was that the doctors and nurses working in the areas identify where they can do things better and lead the improvement project.
"This Government is committed to providing more New Zealanders with elective surgery," he said.
"An extra 500 people a week are getting operations, compared to
2008, and with these programmes clinicians believe they can provide
even more operations with the same resources.