$30m to cut the waiting list for the waiting list
THE WIDE Bay Hospital and Health Service will share in $30 million allocated to the 16 hospital and health services across Queensland to try to reduce the "waiting list for the waiting list", Health Minister Cameron Dick has announced.
But Opposition Leader and former health minister Lawrence Springborg has warned the new minister's moves would mean up to 5000 or more Queenslanders would not get surgery within the recommended time.
Mr Dick said the $30 million would go towards addressing the backlog of 114,000 Queensland patients who were waiting more than the recommended time for an outpatient or diagnostic appointment.
Mr Dick said he would speak to each hospital and health service's chief executives to determine where this money would be allocated.
"I need to speak to the experts in the field about how they best use that money," he said.
"I'm not going to be telling them how to treat patients.
"They're the experts.
"They need to do that and they have my full support."
He also said the Labor government would scrap Mr Springborg's "gimmick" waiting time guarantee.
Mr Dick said Queensland Health had set targets where 98% of patients waiting for category one elective surgery would receive surgery within the clinically recommended time.
The target for category two and three patients was for 95% to be seen within the recommended time. He said these interim targets would apply to all hospital and health services from April 1.
But Mr Springborg slammed these figures, saying thousands more Queenslanders would have to wait longer.
He said under the LNP, 100% of category one patients had their elective surgery on time. He also said 99% of category two and 100% of category three patients received surgery within the timeframe.
Mr Springborg said the LNP had reduced the number of people on the "waiting list for the waiting list" while in government.