Two devastating earthquakes have not stopped the Canterbury
District Health Board from staying focused on delivering a full range of health
services to its community including electives.
Canterbury DHB is predicting an overall shortfall of 740
elective cases – down five per cent on the annual target of 15,477 cases for the
Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates says for the year
to May the Canterbury DHB is behind about 637 cases.
“To be less than five percent below target is a remarkable
effort given the extraordinary circumstances of coping with a major natural
disaster,” Mr Meates says.
“Staff across the health sector have worked together to
provide care to the people of Canterbury in what has been very trying
circumstances, often putting their own personal circumstances aside to continue
to deliver a world class service.”
The Canterbury DHB is also aiming to outsource 500 elective
procedures before the end of the financial year.
At the end of January the Canterbury DHB was ahead of its
target for elective services but the February 22 quake has impacted on our
ability to provide the usual volumes of elective services, he says.
There are a number of reasons for this: damage to two floors
in Riverside block at Christchurch Hospital has meant fewer beds have been
available and more operating theatres were allocated to allow for an increase in
acute (emergency) surgeries for earthquake related injuries
There is also limited theatre capacity because hospital
dental services were moved from Tuam St after the building was closed because of
Three 25 bed wards have temporarily been opened at The
Princess Margaret Hospital to general medicine patients to help cope with the
loss of the 104 beds at Christchurch Hospital.
The Canterbury DHB is implementing its detailed recovery
plan, which incorporates about 200 projects. A major focus of the plan is around
working closely with General Practice teams, CERA and other health organisations
to help keep people well and healthy in their own homes.
Re-scheduling the thousands of outpatient and elective
appointments that were postponed as a result of the quake is returning to normal
but there has been an increase in the number of people not attending outpatient
“If you have moved or relocated because of the earthquake and
are waiting for an elective procedure or outpatient appointment, please contact
the hospital and inform them of your current contact details.”
Hospital staff have also been telephoning people before
sending letters confirming an outpatient or elective appointment.
Fact and figures about the February 22 quake:
There were 130 orthopaedic operations for earthquake injuries
at Christchurch Hospital in the week following the February earthquake:31 had
a broken hip12 had
a spinal fracture12 had
a fractured pelvis12 had
fractured thigh or shin bonesNine
crush injuries, of whom three were double leg amputees, and two lost one leg20 arm
or shoulder fractures12
After the quake about 8 percent of outpatient appointments were cancelled.
DNAs (Did Not Attends) for outpatient appointments have increased from an
average of about 4 percent before the quake to around 6.5 percent.
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