Hospitals have until the end of the month to book a surgical slot for thousands of patients who have been waiting longer than a year, RNZ reports. It’s a first glimpse of what the Planned Care Taskforce is doing behind the scenes to try to fix the huge number of people waiting for surgery. Although those waiting the longest for planned care were often classed as needing the least urgent surgeries, many of them still struggled to lead normal lives – often living in pain, unable to work, exercise or even sleep properly.