New figures confirm the number of Queenslanders waiting too long for urgent or semi urgent surgery at the State’s public hospitals have almost halved in less than two years.
Media note: Statistics are at the end of this release.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has congratulated doctors, nurses and hospital management staff for the extraordinary results on behalf of patients and praised their ‘can do’ attitude.
“When the LNP came to office, we inherited a health system where 185 people had not received their urgent surgery on time under the last quarter of Labor mismanagement,” Mr Springborg said.
“This long wait list was slashed to just 84 in the figures just released for the December quarter 2013.
“A massive 4965 patients also failed to receive their semi-urgent surgery on time under the last quarter of Labor’s mismanagement.
“That list has also been slashed to 2774 in the latest figures for the December quarter.
“We have a long way to go but we have also made major advances with policies that empower and value our workforce at hospitals throughout Queensland.”
Mr Springborg said as the State Government continued to reduce waiting lists for the priority urgent and semi-urgent patients, it could begin to address non-urgent surgery wait times.
December 2013 quarterly figures also showed the Newman Government had managed to reduce the number of ‘long waits’ for non-urgent surgery by 15 per cent.
“Morale has also noticeably improved from the dark period under the previous Labor government when health workers couldn’t be sure they would get a pay packet thanks to the billion dollar payroll debacle,” he said.
“While the figures represented an extraordinary turn around in Queensland Health, they are still of little solace to those still not receiving surgery on time.
“That is why I will be looking at the tried and tested policies, modelled on the world renowned Scandinavian free health system in countries such as Denmark, that give patients a “Surgery Guarantee” so we can build on the successes we are already seeing emerge in Queensland,
“The LNP has already given a “Hospital Guarantee” to each community that all public hospitals will remain publicly owned; and we have given a “Health Workforce Guarantee” that ensures our staff actually get a pay-packet and are properly paid, unlike under Labor.
“Now we will work on the “Surgery Guarantee” for patients. This builds on the Newman government’s decision to consign to the scrapheap plans by the previous Labor Government to introduce co-payments for surgery.”
Under the Danish model, patients who cannot be guaranteed surgery on-time at a public hospital are given the choice of using a private hospital with the government covering the costs of surgery.
It also ensures public patients get their taxpayer funded surgery for free, on time and at an accredited hospital.