Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Health CEO Stands by His Claim, Defines 'Long-Wait'

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Health CEO Stands by His Claim, Defines 'Long-Wait'

Article excerpt

THE Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service was yesterday standing by its statement that there were no long-wait elective surgery patients at Gympie Hospital.

Chief executive Kevin Hegarty said "each year our facilities, including Gympie Hospital, provide more services than the previous year".

"At October 1, 2014, there were no long-wait elective surgery patients at Gympie, Nambour or Caloundra Hospitals," he said.

"The management of elective surgery is consistent across Queensland i.e. patients who require elective surgery are categorised according to their clinical priority.

"Elective surgery is planned surgery whereby admission can be delayed for at least 24 hours. A clinician determines the clinical urgency category for elective surgery according to the following criteria:

Category 1: Admission within 30 days;

Category 2: Admission within 90 days;

Category 3: Admission within 365 days.

"Under this categorisation process, a person needing surgery for cancer would be a Category 1, where someone requiring a knee replacement or a tonsillectomy would most likely be Category 3," Mr Hegarty said.

"Hence, any patient who waits longer than the recommended timeframe for the category they have been assigned, is classified as a 'long-wait' patient.

"Within the SCHHS there is an approximate 50/50 split between emergency and elective surgery. Emergency surgery is typically someone admitted as a result of an emergent condition (i.e. road trauma, or other injury requiring surgery within 24 hours).

"Patients who are assigned to an elective surgery waiting list are firstly referred to a public hospital by a general practitioner and are then assigned an appointment to see a specialist in an outpatient clinic.

"It is at the outpatient appointment that a determination is made as to whether elective surgery is required. …

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