Surgery blitz promise: Round table talks highlight waiting list woes
HARROWING tales of pain and seemingly endless waiting have emerged after more than a dozen Fraser Coast residents spoke at a round table discussion with LNP leader Deb Frecklington.
She was at the Hervey Bay RSL to announce a $300 million investment to clear the backlog of people waiting for elective surgery.
One resident said his wife had been hospitalised three times for falls while she was on the wait list for knee surgery.
Another said he was on the wait list for the wait list for shoulder surgery and couldn’t believe it when Ray Stone was on the news with the exact same issues.
He was one of several patients who spoke with the Opposition Leader about their painful plight.
Mr Stone spoke to the Chronicle in August and said he had been refused a place on the waiting list to see an orthopaedic surgeon due to the ‘unprecedented impact’ of COVID-19.
He was allegedly told by Wide Bay Health in August he would be reclassified to allow him to get surgery quicker.
That did not occur, and now, five months on, the 79-year-old, who is a carer for his ill wife, has been left in debilitating pain, unable to complete basic tasks around the house or write.
The LNP leader said she would partner with private hospitals to clear surgery waiting lists.
“Every day Queenslanders ware waiting is another day of worry, pain or financial hardship from not working,” she said.
“People get sicker on the waiting list and often can become dependent on pain killers as well.”
She said the project would run parallel with the LNP’s 1.3 billion investment to recruit nearly 4500 more nurses, doctors, paramedics and allied health workers.
However, moments later outside Hervey Bay Hospital, Minister the Environment Leeanne Enoch said Ms Frecklington needed to be upfront about who and what would be cut to finance these promises.
She claimed the reason for any patient backlog was a direct result of the National Cabinet decision to stop all elective surgery during the pandemic.
“What we have been able to do since then to address elective surgery … is commit $250 million dollars ourselves to get those wait lists down and we are seeing pre covid time in being able to respond to people,” she said.
“That is already happening so Deb Frecklington’s announcement today is a bit of a late to the party kind of arrangement.
“We have already been doing this work in response to the pausing of elective surgery as per the national carinate decision.”
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service was contacted for comment.