Royal Hobart Hospital on the mend with cut to surgery wait lists
ELECTIVE surgery waiting lists at the Royal Hobart Hospital have been dramatically reduced since the start of the year, new figures reveal.
The latest Health and Human Services Department statistics show the number of patients waiting for elective surgery at the state’s major hospital had fallen by 20.7 per cent since January — from 3064 to 2431.
But the average waiting time for surgery at the RHH rose slightly from 45 days to 47 days.
RHH surgical services group manager Adrianne Belchamber yesterday praised the efforts of hospital staff and said the focus on reducing surgery waiting lists would continue across all procedures in the new year.
“Staff at the RHH have worked hard to achieve this significant reduction in the elective surgery waiting list,” Ms Belchamber said.
“These gains have been supported by implementing efficient systems as well as having state and national targets in place, which give staff a clear goal to work towards achieving.
“Next year we will continue our focus of reducing the number of patients waiting the longest for elective surgery, as well as the most urgent cases.”
Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne said the Royal Hobart Hospital waiting-list improvement was a result of hard work throughout the state organisation.
“The Tasmanian Health Organisation has been systematically reviewing its list, along with targeting long-wait patients, resulting in a more effective management of elective surgery patients,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“Importantly, admissions from the wait list — that is the number of patients being treated and therefore removed from the list — increased at all four of the state’s public hospitals.
“This is an important indicator because it shows that our hospitals are working harder and more efficiently to get more people their surgery.”
Ms O’Byrne said progress was being made in Tasmanian hospitals despite a growth in demand.
But Opposition health spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said the extent of patients waiting for surgery would not be known until the lists of people waiting to be assessed by a surgeon were also regularly disclosed.
“We shouldn’t forget that thousands more patients are being kept on hidden waiting lists,” Mr Rockliff said.
He said that across the state, elective surgery waiting lists had grown since before the last state election.
Well this is news to me! as I’ve been on a “Waiting List” since 2008 and still no news as to if or when I’ll ever have the surgery. As is the case the Government just want a good PR stunt to make us think that things are progressing along when really there’s most likely multiple so called “Lists” that the one that looks the best is the one the public are told about… 😐
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