ELECTIVE SURGERY WAITS ARE LONGER IN NSW: CATARACTS, HIP AND KNEE

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The NSW waiting time for some elective surgery procedures -- such as cataract removal and knee and hip replacements – is more than double the Australian average and three times higher than comparable countries like Canada.

Elderly patients were feeling the brunt of the longer waits.

In the most recent quarter (April – June 2015), in NSW, there were 73,063 patients waiting for elective surgery in NSW.

This follows data last week reporting that NSW hospitals – particularly those in western Sydney – were overwhelmed with patients due to a serious lack of beds, forcing them to wait longer in emergency departments.

Statewide, 27 per cent of patients waited more than four hours for treatment in the 88 emergency departments.

Cataract:  NSW patients waited a median 238 days for cataract removal compared with the Australian median wait (91 days); Canada (46); England (59) and New Zealand (88).

Hip replacement: In NSW, the median wait for a hip replacement was 190 days compared to: Australia (116): New Zealand (99); Canada (87) and England (82).

Knee replacement: In NSW, the median wait for a knee replacement was 296 days compared to: Australia (184); New Zealand (111); Canada (106) and England (87).

NSW waiting lists for elective surgery are even longer than the recorded data because the Baird government has waiting lists to get on to the waiting list. In Western Sydney, the real wait for cataract surgery is more than four years – from the first contact with the health system to the actual operation.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord

“In NSW, patients wait for an ambulance; they wait outside the emergency department in an ambulance; they wait inside the emergency department for treatment and then they wait for a bed.”

“At every step in the NSW health system patients have to wait – and the wait for elective surgery such as cataract and knee and hip replacements are even longer.”  

“NSW waiting lists for elective surgery are even longer than the recorded data because the Baird government has waiting lists to get on to the waiting list.”

“This is the human cost of the $3 billion in health cuts by Mike Baird.”