Bay News column

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Last week I received a letter from a constituent letting me know about a few things they thought the Government was doing well.

One of the things they mentioned was the service they received from Tauranga Hospital in dealing with a medical concern. A key priority of National upon taking office was to deliver better public services. This is especially important in the health sector.

We have ensured that people get access to better, sooner, more convenient care by investing in more doctors and nurses and prioritising funding to the frontline.

Our plan is working.

For example, the latest figures show that in the Bay of Plenty far more operations are now being performed each year. Last year 9,424 people received elective surgery, compared to 6,255 in 2007/2008. That’s a 51 per cent increase and means more people are getting the surgery they need to live healthier and more active lives.

In May we announced $98 million from Budget 2015 to boost elective surgery and improve the prevention and treatment of orthopaedic conditions. This funding is helping deliver on average an extra 4,000 elective operations per year over the next four years.

The Health budget has grown to a record $15.9 billion this year, including over $300 million for district health boards to help meet demand from population growth and provide extra services for New Zealanders. Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s funding has increased by $145 million over the last seven years.

People rightly expect that in return for paying their taxes the system will be there to work for them when they need it. National’s commitment to delivering better public services is ensuring this is the case.