No real improvement on elective surgery waiting lists

Preliminary figures on Victoria’s lengthy elective surgery waiting list have been revealed.

Health Minister David Davis announced that 38,244 patients were waiting for elective surgery at Victoria’s public hospitals on June 30.

The elective surgery waiting list blew out to 50,054 under the Coalition government on March 31 last year.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick says the result simply returned the waiting list to a level inherited by the government when it won office four years ago, and more resources were needed to meet rising demand.

‘Just treading water is not a good result,’ Ms Fitzpatrick told journalist Kate Hagan from The Age.

‘Our members have reported a lot of activity in our theatres over the past six months; all of a sudden our nurses, surgeons and anaesthetists are working on weekends,’ she said.

‘We think Victorians deserve better than having to wait for an election year to have their surgery.’

A total of 37,194 patients were on the waiting list in June 2010 under the former Labor government.

Mr Davis said he chose to release the ‘exciting set of figures [that] I think the community will be very interested to hear’ ahead of a more detailed quarterly report on hospital performance.

The performance figures also show that the Coalition Government has been investing heavily in marginal seats ahead of the November 29 state election.

The Angliss Hospital, in the marginal seat of Monbulk, has improved its figures by almost 60 per cent.

In 2012-13, 855 patients were waiting for surgery; however this has been slashed to 349.

Likewise significant improvement has been seen at Ballarat (-42%) and Geelong Hospitals (-38%).