Canterbury DHB on track to deliver more surgery

Sunday May 10, 2015

​New hospital facilities will give Canterbury DHB the capacity to perform an extra 6000 surgeries and procedures a year once up and running.

With the ageing population and increase in demand, Canterbury DHB continues to increase, and plans to further increase access to surgery for its population.

Canterbury DHB is already one of the biggest providers of surgery, and the second biggest tertiary hospital, in New Zealand.

However, theatre capacity is a currently major constraint to performing more surgery in house.

At the moment Canterbury DHB has 20 operating theatres – this will increase to 28 once the new operating theatres are up and running 2018.

David Meates, Canterbury DHB chief executive, says the new theatres can't come soon enough.

"The Government's $650 million facilities redevelopment projects at Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals will allow us to do so much more for our community," he says.

In the past year Canterbury DHB carried out 19,894 planned (elective) discharges, and at the same time carried out 22,248 acute (unplanned) surgery discharges – a combined total of 42,142 discharges for the 2013/14 year.

"Over the past nine years our volume of elective surgery discharges has increased almost 40 percent - from 14,435 in 2006/07 to 19,894 discharges last year. Much of this increase has been in complex surgery and orthopaedics.

"What makes it even more remarkable is the fact that volumes have continued to increase against a backdrop of quakes, quake repairs, and hospitals that resemble construction sites.

Mr Meates says an additional eight theatres will make a huge difference to our capacity.

"Twenty four theatres will be on the Christchurch Campus, with four at Burwood," he says.

"Canterbury DHB recognises that health systems will always face a level of unmet need and constantly have to prioritise and reprioritise access to surgery."

Cumulatively since 2006/7 Canterbury has provided 27,716 more elective admissions than it would have if it had continued to deliver at the same level as 2006/7*.

"This growth is set to continue, and having our new facilities on stream in 2018 will allow us to continue to provide more for the people from Canterbury and throughout the South Island who receive surgery in Christchurch," Mr Meates says.

*This result is for the period 2007/08 to 2013/14.

Page last reviewed: 18 May 2015
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