Dubbo Hospital chipping away at its waiting list for cataract surgery

EXTRA MONEY: NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, pictured at Dubbo Hospital, has announced an extra $3 million for cataract extraction, knee and hip replacement surgery in the state's public hospitals. Photo: Contributed
EXTRA MONEY: NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, pictured at Dubbo Hospital, has announced an extra $3 million for cataract extraction, knee and hip replacement surgery in the state's public hospitals. Photo: Contributed

The state government is throwing money at cataract extraction needed by 284 people on an elective surgery waiting list at Dubbo Hospital.

On Monday NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced that $3 million was up for grabs by local health districts to “help reduce wait times for patients right across NSW”.

He said a panel of staff from NSW Health and the Agency of Clinical Innovation would assess proposals and “allocate funding accordingly”.

The $3 million will also expedite knee and hip replacements for NSW residents.

The Western NSW Local Health District has lodged a submission “to access some of the additional funds made available by the NSW government for elective surgery”.

The Bureau of Health Information’s (BHI) Healthcare Quarterly for April to June 2017 reports of 284 people waiting for cataract extraction at Dubbo Hospital.

Dubbo Hospital waiting lists.

Dubbo Hospital waiting lists.

It shows that the hospital has been chipping away at the list across the past 12 months.

In the April to June 2016 quarter there were 340 names on the list.

The Healthcare Quarterly also reveals 109 patients at Dubbo Hospital had cataracts removed in April to June 2017, with 95.4 per cent receiving the surgery on time.

Corresponding figures for NSW are 6559 and 97.9 per cent.

In the April to June 2017 quarter, 37 patients received knee replacements at Dubbo Hospital, with all surgery carried out on time.

At the same time 14 patients got new hips, with surgery on time for 92.9 per cent of them.

In the April to June 2017 quarter 100 people were waiting for knee replacements and 55 hip replacements at Dubbo Hospital.

Corresponding figures for the same quarter in 2016 are 120 and 54.

The Healthcare Quarterly reveals 5680 people in NSW were waiting for knee replacements in the April to June 2017 quarter, up 276 or 5.1 per cent on the same period in 2016.

A further 2591 people were waiting for new hips, an increase of 141 or 5.8 per cent.

In NSW, 14,844 people needed cataracts removed, 117 or 0.8 per cent less than in the same quarter last year.

Mr Hazzard said the $3 million investment in cataract, knee and hip surgery came from  a “record $23 billion total health budget”.

“NSW already has the best on-time elective surgery performance in the country and this $3 million boost will make it even better,” the minister said.

“The sooner people have their operations, the sooner they can get on with their lives.”