Staff members outside Bundaberg Hospital.
Staff members outside Bundaberg Hospital. Scottie Simmonds

Overdue hospital wait list doubles

PATIENTS waiting for urgent surgery at Bundaberg Hospital more than doubled in just three months according to the latest quarterly report from Queensland Health.

On April 1 this year only 13 patients were waiting more than the recommended thirty days for surgery.

But by July 1 that figure had jumped to 28.

The picture did not look much better for patients who had a recommended wait for surgery time of 90 days.

On April 1 just 79 people had waited longer than recommended for treatment.

By July 1 that number had almost doubled to 140 people.

The situation looks even worse when compared with the number of people waiting longer than recommended on July 1 last year.

At that time just 12 patients were waiting longer than the recommended 30 days for surgery and only 13 waiting longer than the recommended 90 days.

Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District northern cluster manager Beth Norton said staff were working hard to reduce the waiting lists.

“Waiting lists also depend on the number of emergency or trauma cases we get through the theatres and the complexity of the operations required,” she said.

“It is important to note emergency surgery, especially for those who are seriously ill, always takes precedence over elective surgery.

The hospital’s emergency department experienced a 7.3% increase in the number of patients seen for the June quarter.

The number of patients jumped by 9.3% when compared with the same time last year.

Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said staff at the hospital were doing their best to keep up with the demand.

“The state government needs to properly finance the Bundaberg Hospital,” he said.

Mr Dempsey said the latest figures only told half of the problem.

“We have patients on a waiting list to get onto the waiting list,” he said.

“They have to see specialists before they can even get on the waiting list.”

“These are conditions which can be life threatening if left too long.”



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