The Palaszczuk Government’s $250 million elective surgery blitz has been a resounding success in managing waiting lists, the latest health data reveals. Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said hospital performance data for the July-September 2020 quarter shows the quarter billion dollar blitz is delivering strong elective surgery activity. “In the July-September period, 37,884 people underwent elective surgery in Queensland public hospitals, including 13,907 Category One patients,” she said. “This strong performance is particularly pleasing, given it came at the height of Victoria’s second wave when our public health response was overwhelmingly geared towards keeping Queenslanders save from coronavirus. “While Category One surgeries continued as normal, less urgent procedures were suspended during this period, as agreed by National Cabinet. “The data shows we’re continuing to clear the elective surgery backlog following the nationally agreed postponement of non-urgent procedures earlier this year. “It’s been made possibly because we’ve delivered a strong public health response to COVID-19, and listened to the advice of health experts.” The Health Minister said National Cabinet’s direction to suspend non-urgent surgery was designed to free up hospitals’ capacity to manage COIVID-19, preserve PPE for the most urgent use and to protect patients from infection. “Our $250 million investment meant we could devote more clinicians and more resources for elective surgery procedures,” she said. “I want to thank Queenslanders affected by the suspension for their patience and understanding.” The Health Minister said the latest data also showed emergency departments continue to perform strongly. “In September 2020, there were 590,197 emergency department presentations across Queensland, with an average wait time of 12 minutes,” she said. “This is in contrast to September 2019, when there were almost 55,000 fewer ED presentations with an average wait of 16 minutes.
“All of the 4,339 Category One patients were seen within two minutes of arriving at hospital – these are people who need life-saving medical care.
“The vast majority, 83 percent, of all of our ED patients are being seen within clinically recommended times. “This is an astounding record, given we are in the midst of a pandemic, and it should give Queenslanders reassurance that if they need urgent medical care, we have an efficient frontline workforce and hospital network to provide it.
“I want to thank all our dedicated health workers for the tremendous work they do to protect the health of Queenslanders.” To view the performance data visit https://www.performance.health.qld.gov.au/