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Hervey Bay Hospital wait lists on improve

More people are being admitted to hospital for whooping cough.
More people are being admitted to hospital for whooping cough. Contributed

TWO years ago about one third of all Hervey Bay Hospital patients in need of semi-urgent surgery were not treated within the recommended timeframe.

In the same year, 14% of Maryborough Hospital patients requiring urgent surgery waited longer than was recommended.

Recent data however reveals the potentially deadly problem has been addressed with all patients at both hospitals now getting to see specialists within the clinically recommended timeframes.

Elective surgery figures from Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service show 91% of Hervey Bay Hospital patients who required urgent surgery in 2013 were seen within the reco-mmended time of 30 days. The following year the figure improved to 92%.

Waiting times at Maryborough Hospital followed a similar pattern, with 86% of patients needing urgent surgery seen in time in 2013, improving to 88% the following year.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Adrian Pennington said the figure had improved further this year with all urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent patients seen within the recommended timeframes.

Mr Pennington said this came despite big increases in patient numbers during the past three years.

He said the service had looked at ways it managed data collection and monitored and reported wait times.

"This identified what we needed to do about issues such as how we planned clinics and lists, and how we could eliminate waste and duplication," he said.

The number of patients requiring semi-urgent surgery within a recommended time of 90 days has also improved.

The number of patients being seen within the recommended time in Hervey Bay jumped from 68% in 2013 to 77% in 2014 while in Maryborough, the figure rose from 75% in 2013 to 90% in 2014.

Both hospitals are now treating 100% of patients within the 90-day limit.

Despite the improvement, Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said elective surgery was only one part of a patient's journey.

Earlier this year Mr Dick announced $30 million funding to address the backlog of 114,000 patients who were waiting more than the recommended time for an outpatient or diagnostic appointment.

The minister was critical of the Wait Time Guarantee policy introduced by the former LNP government, instead attributing the improved outcomes to further federal government funding.

WAITING TIMES

Category 1

Urgent: Specialist consultation recommended within 30 days

2013: 91% treated in time in Hervey Bay, 86% in Maryborough

2014: 92% in Hervey Bay, 88% Maryborough

2015: 100% in both hospitals

Category 2

Semi-urgent: Specialist consultation recommended within 90 days

2013: 68% treated in time in Hervey Bay, 75% in Maryborough

2014: 77% Hervey Bay, 90% Maryborough

2015: 100% in both hospitals

Topics:  hervey bay hospital queensland health



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