New Zealand has registered a record increase of more than 12,000 in elective surgeries for its financial year just ended, the government has announced.

In 2008/2009 the number of elective surgeries carried out jumped to 30,216, a record increase of 12,265 compared to the previous year, the government said.

Surgeries performed increased in all elective specialities including orthopaedics, ophthalmology, plastics, and ear, nose and throat, according to the preliminary data.

The government’s target to increase the number of people getting electives in the first term by an average of 4,000 per year, with a total increase of 12,000, had been met, Health Minister Tony Ryall said.

“It will be a challenge to maintain this total number of patients for the 2009/10 year, simply because of the remarkable increase, and also because the swine flu has had an impact on this financial year,” Ryall said.