Elective surgery waiting times continue to improve


Released 02/02/2016

The productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services has shown waiting times for elective services have continued to improve in the ACT over the past year, Minister for Health Simon Corbell announced today.

“The ACT Government is committed to providing quality healthcare services to Canberrans, and the release of the Productivity Commission’s report today shows that we are continuing to improve how quickly patients access their elective surgery,” Mr Corbell said.

The report has shown the ACT’s elective surgery wait times remain the lowest they have been in more than a decade, and have improved on the positive results seen in last year’s report.

“The report shows ACT Public Hospital waiting times for elective services have continued to improve in the past year, with our median wait time for surgery improving from 48 days in 2013-14 to 45 days in 2014-15,” Mr Corbell said.

“The $11.8 million elective surgery blitz, which aims to provide 1,000 extra surgeries through to June this year, is also well underway. This funding will provide even further improvements to access to surgery, to ensure waiting times continue to remain the lowest they have been since 2003.”

While today’s report has shown positive results across the health system in 2014-15, it also shows where there is more work to be done to continue to respond to increased demand for health services.

According to an ACT Auditor-General's report published in July, in 2014-15 the ACT’s emergency departments saw their busiest year on record, with staff treating nearly 130,000 patients, or an average of 357 presentations a day.

“Today’s report shows that we are seeing significant increases in demand in our emergency departments, with the percentage of patients seen within the appropriate triage category timeframes slightly down in 2014-15,” Mr Corbell said.

“However, the report also shows although our emergency departments are seeing more patients than ever before, the number of presentations with a length of stay of 4 hours or less has improved to 63.1 per cent, up from 61.8 per cent the previous year. This latest results demonstrate continued improvement across in this area compared to 57.3 per cent recorded in 2012-13.”

Canberra’s emergency departments will continue to remain a focus for the ACT Government in 2016, with the first phase of the $23 million Canberra Hospital emergency department expansion fully operational from tomorrow, and other initiatives to improve timeliness such as employing additional doctors and nurses and reviewing our models of care underway.

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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