WBHHS chief executive Adrian Pennington.
WBHHS chief executive Adrian Pennington. Paul Beutel

Elective surgery wait times are 100% consistent, report says

FRASER Coast residents in a non-life threatening situation but need surgery don't need to fear of waiting too long.

Elective surgery waiting times have remained 100% of their recommended bracket across not just our region but the whole of Wide Bay, the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Annual Report 2015/16 revealed.

When a person needs an elective surgery, they are placed on a waiting list and assigned a category based on urgency - Category 1 is most urgent, and Category 3 is least urgent.

WBHHS chief executive Adrian Pennington said none of the elective surgery patients at any Wide Bay hospital are waiting more than six months.

The national recommendation for Category 3 is under 12 months.

This consistent performance occurred despite almost one million patients using the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service in the space of one year.

There were 971,371 patients using the service in the 2015/16 financial year, a rise of 4% from 2014/15 and the most the health service has ever had.

"Performance numbers indicate our teams are managing the additional patients, with all elective surgical waits within National Elective Surgery Targets," Mr Pennington said.

"Across the board, WBHHS has seen a substantial increase in the number of people receiving care at our local hospitals or via one of our health services.

"The real challenge for WBHHS is ensuring this activity is sustainable, because increases in outpatients and emergency presentations put pressure on hospital admissions both medically and surgically."

Mr Pennington said that 66.4% more people were also using Telehealth appointments compared to last year, allowing them to stay in their home town instead of having to travel long distances.

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