Elective surgery reform still needed

Thursday, 1 December 2016

A new performance report out today has reinforced the need for reform across the South Australian public health system, showing South Australian hospitals remain behind the national average in elective surgery waiting times.

SA Health Deputy Chief Executive, Len Richards said the 2015/16 Australian Institute for Health and Welfare report shows there is work to be done.

“Similar to 2014-15, our median waiting time for elective surgery is three days above the national average,” Mr Richards said.

“However South Australia continues to perform better than the national average for two of the three key measures of waiting time.

“Ninety per cent of people received their elective surgery within 233 days, 12 per cent better than the national average of 260 days.

“1.8 per cent of patients waited more than 365 days prior to admission for surgery, the third best result nationally and slightly better than the national average.”

The report also highlighted that in South Australia 91 per cent of all patients were admitted within the clinically recommended time; with 90 per cent of category one patients seen within the recommended time of 30 days.

“These results must improve and that is why we are undergoing the biggest reforms of the South Australian public health system in history,” Mr Richards said.

“Under these improvements we are realigning health services to better meet the needs of our community and are creating hubs for elective surgeries and rehabilitation.

“Noarlunga, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Modbury Hospitals will be further developed as same day surgery hubs.

“This will increase same day and extended day 23 hour elective surgery rates, which will free up in patient beds for other acute patients, improve elective surgery throughput and waiting times and reduce the number of patients on waiting lists.

“We want to focus on creating better pathways for patients so they spend less time in hospital and more time at home close to family and friends,” Mr Richards said.

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