The Liberals have taken early steps under our 100 Day Plan to reduce elective surgery cancellations at public hospitals.
In 2013, there were over 3000 elective surgery cancellations* initiated by hospitals, 71.7 per cent prior to admission and 28.3 per cent after a patient had been admitted.

For the past three years, the most prominent reason for cancellation of elective surgery in our two largest hospitals in Hobart and Launceston has been overriding emergency.

In other words, an emergency surgical case has taken precedence over an elective surgical case, resulting in the elective surgery being cancelled, sometimes more than once.

Often that cancelled elective surgical case, if not seen to, will then become more urgent, or an emergency.

The Liberals are committed to reducing elective surgery cancellations, which are as frustrating and stressful to patients as they are to hospitals.

Many other States around the country have established Acute Surgical Units in larger hospitals to ‘separate’ emergency and elective surgery, so both can proceed.

I am pleased to note that the LGH is in the process of implementing such a plan.

I have asked my Department to work with the Royal Hobart Hospital to develop a model to separate elective and emergency surgery at that hospital as well.

In addition, I have also sought further advice about the impediments to efficiency and patient flow in our operating theatres.

Better management and scheduling will also help reduce the high percentage of elective surgery cancellations for administrative and resourcing reasons.

The Liberals’ commitment to open up more hospital beds and invest $76 million into elective surgery over the term of this Government will further help reduce the incidence of cancellation.

*An analysis of elective surgery cancellations is available via following link:


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