The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released a report yesterday (October 16) providing the latest information on elective surgery waiting times in Australian public hospitals, where for the first time, data was reported within four months of the end of the reference period.
"Over the five years from 2007-08 to 2011-12, the number of admissions from elective surgery waiting lists nationally rose by an average of 3.8 per cent per year-but this was partly driven by an increase in the number of small hospitals reporting waiting times data", said AIHW spokesperson Alison Verhoeven.
Australia's public hospitals admitted over 600,000 patients from elective surgery waiting lists in 2011-2012, with almost one in four patients for general surgery (surgery for organs of the abdomen) and around one in seven for orthopaedic surgery (surgery on joints, bones, ligaments and tendons).
Half of patients waited 36 days or less for public elective surgery in 2011-2012 – the same results as 2010-11 – but this was an increase from the median waiting time of 34 days in 2007-08.
The overall amount of time in which 90 per cent of patients were admitted increased to 251 days in 2011-12 from 234 days in 2007-08.
"However, the longest waits have dropped-since 2007-08 the proportion of patients who waited more than a year to be admitted for surgery fell from 3.0 per cent to 2.7 per cent", Ms Verhoeven said.
If you are wanting to get the appropriate care and treatment for your medical needs, then a private health insurance plan may be able to help.