Hundreds of patients will get their elective surgery sooner, following a $6.4 million ACT Government funding boost announced Tuesday morning (13 February).
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said the ACT Government was committed to ensuring more people come off the elective surgery waiting list and get the surgery they need as soon as possible.
The funding, which is part of the 2017-18 budget update, will ensure more than 600 additional patients come off the waiting list by the end of this financial year.
“The funding will help patients across all categories of elective surgery, with our aim to provide surgery within clinically recommended timeframes wherever possible. And it will mean a record number of more than 13,000 elective surgeries achieved this financial year,” Miss Fitzharris said.
“This will be accomplished by delivering more surgeries both in the public and private system by increasing the allocation of operating sessions to those specialties with high demand, such as paediatric and adult general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, urology and gynaecological surgery.”
“By working collaboratively with Calvary Public Hospital and the private hospitals, we can take a broader approach to the allocation of operating sessions, surgeon and anesthetist availability, and maximise the use of theatres, doctors and other health staff.”
Each year, ACT Health completes more elective surgeries, with 12,826 patients receiving elective surgery in 2016-17, well over the target of 12,500.
“We are meeting our targets for the number of elective surgery procedures performed each year, which demonstrates our system is working. However as our region grows, demand is increasing and this is putting pressure on our waiting times,” said Miss Fitzharris.
“As well as addressing our elective surgery waiting times right now, we also have a longer-term plan to address these issues through a targeted workforce attraction strategy.”
The new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre will also significantly boost the number of operating theatres at Canberra Hospital.
“With this increased level of theatre capacity, we will have dedicated theatres available for elective surgery and dedicated theatres for more complex procedures, trauma and emergency surgery. This will provide increased capacity and allow for better management of emergency and elective surgeries to avoid delays and rescheduling as our community continues to grow.
“With SPIRE we will also have dedicated theatres for maternity, gynaecology and paediatric surgery.”
Have you experienced the waiting list for elective surgery? What are your thoughts on this funding boost? Let us know in the comments section below.