A record number of Wairarapa DHB patients received a specialist assessment last year.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the latest figures revealed a 21 per cent increase in Wairarapa patients receiving a medical or surgical assessment last year.

In total, 8156 Wairarapa patients received a medical or surgical assessment in 2015 compared with 6739 in 2009.

This includes assessments for over 10 specific surgical services, including eye, ear nose and throat, and general surgery.

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"While there's still more to be done, we are heading in the right direction.

"The answer to increased demand is to do more - whether it's assessments or operations," said Dr Coleman.

Wairarapa DHB had received a funding increase of $29 million over the past seven years, he said. The DHB's total funding will be $135 million for the 2015/2016 year.