8 Jan 2013

Grommets targeted as Govt razor gang eyes health

3:00 pm on 8 January 2013

A government organisation has been assessing the benefits of funding common elective surgical procedures in order to save the health sector $30 million this financial year.

The National Health Committee has drawn on a list of 550 low priority procedures evaluated by the Welsh health system.

It says the top 25 procedures on that list cost New Zealand taxpayers $641 million a year.

The committee report does not name the procedures, but it does say $4.4 million dollars a year could be saved if the insertion of grommets were reduced to the same rate as in Britain.

It says New Zealand uses the ventilation tubes to prevent ear infection at a much higher rate than Britain, although the procedure should not be stopped completely.

The committee says savings would be used for investing in smarter, more effective technologies.