Surgery waitlist reduces with new plan

Surgery waitlists are decreasing quickly as the South Australian Government funds a new plan to reduce patient waiting times.
Surgery waitlists are decreasing quickly as the South Australian Government funds a new plan to reduce patient waiting times.

South Australians who have been waiting for surgery at the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth hospitals are getting one step closer as a new program begins to reduce waitlists.

The Elective Surgery Reduction Strategy at the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) has lowered the number of patients waiting for surgery by more than 800 in the past two months.

CALHN executive director of operations Paul Lambert said the program had helped manage existing waiting list numbers, hospital bed capacity and ramp up procedures.

"This new strategy has renewed our focus on elective surgery, which has in the past been challenged by increasing pressure across our hospitals," Mr Lambert said.

"We have never before had an agreement of this scale in place with private providers to ensure our patients receive the surgery they need."

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the government had invested $45 million to help reduce the waitlist for elective surgery and colonoscopy procedures.

"In just two months, the elective surgery overdue waitlist at CALHN has reduced by more than 650 patients, while the colonoscopy overdue list has reduced by 150 patients," Mr Wade said.

"We're expecting that more than 800 overdue patients at CALHN will receive their surgery by the end of June.

He said since receiving the funding, elective surgery overdue waitlist across hospitals had halved and elective surgery wait times had improved as private providers were being used to combat the problem.

"In the past 10 weeks, 951 people have come off the overdue waitlist ... 957 people remain on the overdue list, down 50 per cent from 1908 on March 20," Mr Wade said.

"The total number of people waiting for elective surgery - not just those who are overdue - is 17,235, down from 17,957 nine weeks ago. That's 722 less people waiting for elective surgery."

This story Surgery waitlist reduces with new plan first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.