3 November 2011

Elective surgery numbers getting worse

| johnboy
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The Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson continues his roasting of Katy Gallagher’s health record:

Today’s AMA public hospital report shows the median wait time for elective surgery has doubled since ACT Labor came to office and is twice the national average.

“After 10 years of ACT Labor, and five years with Katy Gallagher as Health Minister, the time for excuses is over,” ACT Shadow Health Minister Jeremy said today.

“According to the report, the median waiting time for elective surgery has blown out from 40 days to 74 days, twice the national average of 35 days.

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Get rid of the monkeys!

I actually paid to have my tonsils out, took around 9 months all up from getting the referral to see the specialist to actually having them removed. So yeah, paying wasn’t quick for me.

Well it comforts me to know that while those of us needing elective surgery are required to wait twice as long as the rest of the country, the local government is spending a stupid amount of money on a new building for themselves.

The above posts are damning indictments of the current state of play under Gallagher’s stewardship.

Anything to improve the stats, f$@k the poor bastards trying to get their surgery.

I’m also sure that the medical practitioners are screwing the maximum dollar from the system, hence the almost immediate service if you cough up.

I don’t know the answer, but greed and incompetence are both in play.

Is this the same elective surgery where if you are willing to go private, hence fork out a lot of money, then you can have the surgery as soon as next week?

That is to say that the public health system is in dire situation?

More annoying than that is what we call the battle of the bean counters: when hospital admin removes people from a short list (eg 3 months due to the severity of the condition, but still officially classified as ‘elective’) and the surgeon has to argue to reinstate – and it happens several times. Somehow, admin doesn’t seem to understand its lack of medical qualifications.

I was told that the waiting list for my surgery was going to be “three to fives years”. This is bad enough as it is, but the thing that REALLY annoys me…

Every 3 months or so I get a letter in the mail, saying ‘You are currently waiting for elective surgery. To keep our lists current, please send us a letter saying you wish you remain on the list. If we do not receive your reply in 9 days, we will assume you no longer wish to be on the list, and you will be removed. Once removed, you will have to start at the back of the line if you wish to re-enter the waiting list’

Not a bad way to cull people and get the waiting time down eh.

I was put on the waiting list last August. In May, I called Calvary hospital to try to find the ballpark date for my surgery.. they informed me they’d lost my paperwork (somewhere between TCH and themselves) so Id have to fill in the forms and join the end of the waiting list again. This August, Calvary wrote to me and informed me that my surgeon had a large waiting list and there would be delays. In October, ACT Health wrote to me to inform me that my surgeon is no longer operating, and Id have to find another surgeon.

The ironic thing is, if they hadnt have lost my paperwork, my surgery should have been performed around April or May and Id no longer be on the list anymore.

With situtaions like mine of people being dropped off the list quietly, it makes one wonder how large the waiting lists would be if 100% of the people who got put on the list actually received their procedure in the ACT.

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