Darling Downs best in state for hospital wait times

The Darling Downs is the only region in Queensland to have zero long waits for specialist outpatient appointments, according to the Hospital and Health Service.

The latest figures from the DDHHS released today have revealed residents in the Darling Downs are now waiting even shorter periods for both elective and emergency surgeries.

 Board chair Mike Horan praised the work of hospital staff in the region, who performed about 5000 elective surgeries at Toowoomba Hospital.

"This means an average of 451 people a month are receiving their operations on time," he said.

"What makes this figure even more significant is the fact that our surgical teams are also performing an average of 266 emergency surgeries every month.

"For elective surgery, demand has been highest for orthopaedics, so each month an average of 127 patients have had procedures such as joint replacements without having to wait longer than clinically recommended."

Mr Horan said DDHHS had contributed to Queensland having the equal-shortest median waiting time for surgery in Australia.

"A recent report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed, for the second year running, Queensland had the shortest median waiting time for elective surgery, equal with the Northern Territory at 29 days, and eight days in front of the national median wait time of 37 days," Mr Horan said.

"I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our Darling Downs Hospital and Health staff, over an extended period, for their contribution to these results.

"At the beginning of the 2013-14 financial year the DDHH Board allocated $3 million funding to reducing waiting lists for elective surgery and at the same time we set goals of no long waits for elective surgery by the end of 2013.

"We achieved that goal on  December 31, 2013 and since then virtually all DDHHS elective surgery patients have been treated within clinically recommended time frames."



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