Surgery wait reduced
LISMORE Base Hospital is bucking the trend of growing hospital surgery waiting lists across NSW, according to new figures released by the state opposition yesterday.
Surgery waiting lists at the LBH reversed the statewide trend in the period from March 2011 to March 2012, reducing wait time averages from 105.9 to 103.1 days.
A Northern NSW Local Health District Spokesperson said that the drop in surgery waiting times was a direct result of the hospital managing its waiting list more efficiently by arranging extra operating theatre lists for surgeons, who have more patients on their waiting lists.
The spokesperson said the increased number of patients treated by these surgeons had reduced their waiting lists and the time their patients wait for their surgery.
In a worrying sign, however, LBH's Northern Rivers counterparts all saw their wait-list times increase.
Murwillumbah District Hospital was identified by the statistics as the second-worst performing hospital in regional NSW in terms of surgery wait lists, while Ballina District Hospital also saw increases to their average waiting times.
Surgery wait-list times at the Murwillumbah hospital rose from 179.5 days to 225.1, for the same period last year.
As of March 2012, there were 71,509 patients on the waiting list for surgery in NSW hospitals.
The NSW Opposition suggest the growing surgery waiting lists were as a direct result of the O'Farrell Government's under-funding of the NSW health system.
Shadow Health Minister, Dr Andrew McDonald said patients were being forced to wait longer for surgery in NSW under the O'Farrell Government.
"Surgery waiting times are blowing out because the O'Farrell Government isn't providing our hospitals with the funding and medical staff they need to keep up with increasing demand." Mr McDonald said.
"Barry O'Farrell promised to improve our health services, but instead we are seeing the waiting list for surgery in NSW rise and rise."
Surgery waiting lists
LBH fell almost three days on average to 103.1 days over the past year.
Murwillumbah wait list times increased by an average of 45.6 days to 225.1.
Ballina District Hospital average wait times have increase by over 16 days to 65.7.
71,509 patients are on waiting lists for surgery in NSW hospitals