Queensland Shadow Minister for Health Mark McArdle
Toowoomba Elective Surgery Waiting Lists Blow Out
Victor P Taffa
Hundreds of people are waiting longer than they should for elective surgery at the Toowoomba Hospital with the waiting list blowing out in the past twelve months, new health statistics reveal.
Queensland Shadow Minister for Health Mark McArdle said the December 2009 Quarterly Public Hospital Report revealed 326 people were waiting too long for elective surgery at the Toowoomba Hospital compared with only 31 twelve months earlier.
“To make things worse, the number of long wait patients in categories one and two – the most serious categories increased from just four on 1 January 2009 to 179 on 1 January 2010.” Mr. McArdle said.
“Over the 12 months to 1 January 2010, Toowoomba has suffered arguably the worst deterioration in elective surgery performance of any Queensland Hospital.”
“By Queensland Health’s own definitions, a Category one patient waiting too long is likely to deteriorate and may become an emergency patient while a category two patient waiting too long is likely to suffer pain, dysfunction or disability.”
“It is just appalling that so many residents of Toowoomba and its surrounds are suffering pain, dysfunction or disability because Bligh and Labor failed through their lack of planning and investment in health infrastructure.”
“What the report does not reveal is how many people in and around the Toowoomba are on dental waiting lists and on the waiting list to get on the waiting list that is, those patients waiting for a specialist appointment before they can even get on to the official elective surgery waiting list.”
“Health Minister Paul Lucas has not released details on dental waiting lists despite promises in June 2009 he would begin reporting twice yearly on dental waiting lists in 2009-10.”
What is the Minister hiding?
Why are Queenslanders being kept in the dark?
“The Minister has also failed to release the figures on how many people are on the waiting list to see a specialist in the Toowoomba Hospital outpatient department with no information released since March 2009.”
“We learned 180, 582 patients State-wide were waiting to see a specialist.”
“It is clear not enough of the health dollar is making it to front-line services.”
“Bligh and Labor need to listen to the real doctors, not just their spin doctors, and start cutting wasteful health spending to cut waiting times for sick patients.” Mr. McArdle said.