The Southern District Health Board is promising to speed up the wait time for surgeries.
It comes as patients have been forced to face repeated delays and months-long waits for treatment, partly due to an increase in admissions.
Now a short-term plan has been released, which includes freeing up more bed space and cutting extended stays in hospital by 50 per cent.
“One-hundred-and-thirty patients between Dunedin and Southland hospitals today that have been in hospital for more than a week, 30 of them for more than three weeks," Southern DHB's Chris Fleming said.
"That’s not good for them and it’s also not good for the people we don’t have capacity to be able to bring in for their planned care."
The plan also involves patients being given an expected discharge date when they're admitted, as well as establishing a senior group of medical staff to assess each patient.