Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles
Northern Territory Minister for Health Robyn Lambley
Improving Elective Surgery Outcomes
Victor P Taffa
Medical staff and clinicians at Royal Darwin Hospital are on track to meet a number of key elective surgery targets including the Government’s commitment to perform 400 additional elective procedures by July.
Touring Royal Darwin Hospital this morning, Chief Minister Adam Giles and Health Minister Robyn Lambley congratulated staff for their work reducing elective surgery waiting times.
“The capacity of Royal Darwin Hospital to provide elective surgery to patients is affected by the competing demands for theatre time for emergency surgery and inpatients, availability of specialist and skilled surgeons and access to overnight beds.” Chief Minister Giles said.
“In spite of this, Royal Darwin Hospital continues to make improvements to elective surgery waiting times which is a credit to staff at the hospital and good news for patients waiting to undergo treatment.”
“In the 2012 Mini Budget, the Country Liberals Government committed $4.46 Million to provide 400 additional elective surgeries per year.”
“By the end of March, there had been 5,806 elective surgeries across the Territory, compared with 5,428 for the same period last year. This means an additional 378 elective surgeries had been carried out, with the remainder set for completion in coming weeks.” Chief Minister Giles said.
The Hospital is also on track to meet or exceed two key elective surgery targets under the National Health Reform Agreement with the Commonwealth.
In March, RDH had exceeded the Category 1 national target of 90 % elective surgery waiting time, achieving 94 % and it met the Category 2 target of 69 %.
“Our performance against these targets means that the time people have to wait for their surgery is reduced.” Mrs. Lambley said.
“In another move to improve service delivery at the hospital, the Health Department last month commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a clinical redesign at Royal Darwin Hospital.”
“The redesign aims to improve patient flow and a range of patient outcomes including reduced length of stay and reduced readmission rates.” Mrs. Lambley said.
“Royal Darwin Hospital is in the first phase of its clinical redesign process in which doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health and support staff will all participate, as will patients who will be surveyed.”
“It is anticipated improvements will be implemented from mid June with the findings being incorporated into the operation of other Territory hospitals.” Mrs. Lambley said.