Elective surgery acceleration plan

NSW patients are waiting for elective surgery longer than patients in comparable countries including Canada and the United Kingdom and we currently have around 76,000 patients waiting for much needed surgery.

For the elderly in NSW – especially those waiting for knee and hip replacements and cataract removal – they face some of the longest waits for elective surgery in Australia – up to three times longer than the Australian median.

We will conduct a one-off surgery blitz for thousands of patients, conducted outside the busy winter and summer periods, to slash waiting lists for non-elective surgery such as cataract removal and hip and knee replacements.

Of the patients waiting for elective surgery, there were:

  • Almost 19,000 patients waiting for orthopaedic surgery;
  • Almost 16,000 patients waiting for cataract surgery;
  • More than 11,00 patients waiting for ear, nose and throat surgery;
  • More than 8,500 waiting for a total knee and hip replacements;
  • More than 4,500 patients waiting for tonsillectomies;

The current wait tonsillectomy is 273 days; 197 days for a total hip replacement and 271 days for a total knee replacement.

NSW Labor will launch a one-off Elective Surgery Acceleration Plan which will target cataract removal, orthopaedic surgery; and ear, nose and throat by expanding these “routine” procedures into smaller hospitals – and other medical facilities.

It will cut lists by around 10 percent.

Under the plan, the NSW State Government would pay organisations and doctors a single cost for each procedure. This will allow surgical space to be used more efficiently and will improve theatre utilisation in NSW.

The first step would be to establish a surgical taskforce including doctors, nurses and hospital officials to develop plans to improve theatre utilization and make better use of the surgical resources available in order to tackle what has been a long-term challenge in NSW.

Patients are forced to wait too long under the Berejiklian Government and only NSW Labor has a plan to resource our health and hospital system and put patients first.