Surgical services

What is elective surgery?

Elective surgery at Hawke's Bay Fallen Soldiers' Memorial Hospital is surgery that is not needed immediately. It is planned surgery for patients who need it the most and will benefit the most, compared to other people with similar conditions.

As the population ages and new drugs and surgical techniques improve, the demand for elective surgery increases.

This has meant more people can have operations like hip or other joint replacements at a much older age and there is also more complex surgery available, which was simply not possible only a few years ago. 

To help manage the demand for elective surgery, more and more work is going into streamlining services so as many patients as possible get surgery.

Surgery is offered to those patients who have the greatest need and who will benefit the most compared to other patients with similar conditions.

How does the elective surgery process work?

Firstly, to find out if you need to see a public hospital specialist you need to make an appointment to see your family doctor/GP.

They will check your condition and discuss with you the best options including whether or not to refer you to a public hospital specialist for further assessment.

If you are referred to a public hospital specialist you will be sent a letter to let you know if you will have an assessment. The decision of whether or not you need to see a specialist at this time is made on the information sent to the hospital by your family doctor/GP.

If you are not offered a specialist appointment your family doctor/GP will discuss other options with you.

If you are accepted an appointment will be sent to you by the hospital. At your appointment with the specialist you may talk about if you would benefit from surgery. If this is the case, and you want to go ahead with the procedure, your name will be sent to the surgical waiting list for consideration.

The urgency of your surgery will be prioritised, and a letter will be sent to you letting you know if you have been accepted onto the surgical waiting list.

If you are very ill and require emergency life saving surgery you will be treated immediately.

If, based on your level of need, publicly funded surgery is not available to you the hospital will send you a letter letting you know that you are not on the waiting list.

Your family doctor/GP will also be advised of your situation and continue to care for you. If your condition gets worse, it is important that you see your family doctor/GP again.

Your family doctor/GP will let the specialist know that your condition has changed so your condition and priority can be reviewed.

We depend upon our patients letting us know, as soon as they can, if they don’t want or can’t have their surgery when it is booked so we can let someone else have their place.

If you are considering cancelling your health insurance we urge you to discuss this with your family doctor/GP.