Dubbo Hospital elective surgeries up 15.8pc in April-June quarter

ON TIME: Dubbo Hospital general manager Debbie Bickerton said 98.7 per cent of all elective surgeries were performed on time in the April to June 2018 quarter. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
ON TIME: Dubbo Hospital general manager Debbie Bickerton said 98.7 per cent of all elective surgeries were performed on time in the April to June 2018 quarter. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The elective surgery waiting list grew at Dubbo Hospital in the April to June 2018 quarter despite surgeons performing more procedures.

Theatre staff also boosted the percentage of patients receiving elective surgery on time.

The Bureau of Health Information’s latest Healthcare Quarterly reports of a total of 1018 elective surgery procedures in the 2018 quarter, compared with 879 in the April to June 2017 quarter.

The extra 139 operations represent a 15.8 per cent increase in surgeries.

But the number of “ready for surgery” patients on the waiting list at the end of the 2018 quarter was 1687, up 296 or 21.3 per cent on the 1391 names recorded at the end of the 2017 quarter.

Patients on the list who were “not ready for surgery” at the end of the 2018 quarter numbered 335, up 39 or 13.2 per cent on the 2017 quarter.

Urgent cases on the waiting list climbed from 15 at the end of the 2017 quarter to 43 at the end of the 2018 quarter, semi-urgent 114 to 226 and non-urgent 1262 to 1418.

The average 280-day wait for non-urgent elective surgery in the 2017 quarter fell to 252 in in the 2018 quarter.

The average wait for urgent elective surgery increased from 16 days in the 2017 quarter to 18 days in the 2018 quarter, likewise 42 days to 56 days in the semi-urgent category.

The new report reveals 100 per cent of 175 urgent cases were performed within the recommended 30 days in the 2018 quarter, a percentage also achieved in the 2017 quarter. 

In the semi-urgent category, 99 per cent of 300 surgeries were performed within the recommended 90 days in the 2018 quarter, up from 96.4 per cent in the 2017 quarter.

In the non-urgent category, 98 per cent of 461 surgeries were performed within the recommended 365 days in the 2018  quarter compared with 95.4 per in the 2017 quarter.

In a statement released by the Western NSW Local Health District, Dubbo Hospital general manager Debbie Bickerton said 98.7 per cent of all elective surgeries were performed on time.

“There were substantial reductions in the median waiting time for patients needing cataract surgery or total hip or total knee replacements, demonstrating the impact of the government’s additional funding for surgery,” she said.

The Healthcare Quarterly shows 163 cataract extractions were performed in the April to June 2018 quarter, up 54 or 49.5 per cent on the same quarter in 2017.

Total knee replacements increased by five or 13.5 per cent to 42 and total hip replacements by two or 14.3 per cent to 16.

In February this year the state government gave the health district almost $1 million for the cataract, hip and knee procedures.

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