Health reforms put patient first in Oz first plan
MORE Sunshine Coast residents are getting their surgery on time - and appointments - under the LNP Government - and now will receive Australia’s first statewide surgery guarantee
The State LNP Government today announced that local patients in the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service will soon receive a guarantee to have their elective (non-emergency) surgery on time, in a national first.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said that even with an 8% increase in the number of people seen for specialist appointments under the LNP, more people were being treated - and the latest announcement was a positive step forward in the reform to improve patient care.
"This is a breakthrough after inheriting years of dysfunction in the health system and backlogs. Wait-times have improved under the LNP in partnership with hard-working clinical staff - and from 1 February 2015, the LNP Government’s Wait Time Guarantee would ensure all eligible Queenslanders who are ready for elective surgery will have their procedure within the medically recommended time.
“The Sunshine Coast Health Service is doing a great job but if for any reason they cannot provide surgery within this time, then patients will be offered the next available appointment in a public or private hospital at no cost,” Ms Simpson said.
“Patients will not have to pay for any travel or accommodation costs if they are treated more than 50km from their original hospital - and this will be arranged by local health service.
Ms Simpson said that under Labor nearly 1 in 5 Queensland patients – 17% - waited too long for their surgery.
“At the end of the year this will be removed - and the LNP’s Guarantee will keep it at 0%.”
Ms Simpson said from 1 February 2015, all eligible elective surgery will be carried out within the following nationally defined times:
• Urgent (category 1): Surgery recommended within 30 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition could get worse and become an emergency
• Semi-urgent (category 2): Surgery recommended within 90 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition is causing pain or disability but is unlikely to become an emergency
• Non-urgent (category 3): Surgery recommended within 365 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition is causing minimal pain or disability.
Ms Simpson said patients who were currently on Queensland Health’s elective surgery wait list would soon receive a letter explaining how the guarantee works.
For more information about the Wait Time Guarantee visit www.qld.gov.au/WaitTimeGuarantee
or call 1300 332 807 between 7am and 9pm, 7 days a week.