Top medical groups have called for immediate action to reduce the “increasingly critical backlog” of patients waiting for elective surgery, with public hospitals failing to clear waiting lists that ballooned to unprecedented levels during the pandemic. Source: The Australian.
The Australian Medical Association has joined with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to sound the alarm at the extent of the delay in the performance of hundreds of thousands of operations.
About 500,000 people are now estimated to be either waiting for surgery or waiting for an outpatient appointment.
The medical groups want an immediate injection of funding to deal with the massive backlogs, together with the imposition of specific performance targets on elective surgery to be incorporated in a new national health reform agreement.
“A national plan is urgently needed to address the growing and increasingly critical backlog of elective surgeries,” a joint letter sent to the federal Health Minister Mark Butler recently said.
“This plan must be funded by both state/territory and federal governments, backed by long-term funding commitments that deliver permanent expanded capacity for our public hospital system.”
The AMA estimates $4.4 billon will be needed over the next two years to clear surgical backlogs.
Call for national plan on ‘critical backlogs’ in surgery waiting lists (By Natasha Robinson, The Australian)