The Hodgman Liberal Government inherited a run down health system that required a major overhaul to get it back on track and with a better focus on patient care.

There is no quick fix but we are getting on with the job with our $76 million investment in elective surgery, which has enabled the opening of the two new theatres at the Launceston General Hospital, as well as extra capacity at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Elective Surgery Waiting Times 2015-2016: Australian Hospital Statistics report, as well as the MyHospitals website, shows almost 19,000 admissions for elective surgery and that Tasmania had the highest rate of admissions per capital of any state or territory.

This was an increase of more than 21 per cent over the number of admissions in 2014-15, with more than 3300 additional surgeries.

As announced earlier this year, Tasmania’s waiting list is at an historic low of fewer than 6000 people, the lowest level since current record collection commenced in 2005. At the end of October 2016, it remains at an historic low.

The report shows an increase in the waiting times of patients who received treatment during 2015-16. This is a good thing and is consistent with the Government’s policy of ensuring that the longest waiting patients are now treated.

The AIHW report notes the increase is largely attributable to these efforts.

We have successfully assisted many Tasmanians previously put on the waiting list and forgotten by Labor.
Clearing the longest waiting backlog can only be achieved by accepting a temporary increase in median wait times of the people we treat.

DHHS data shows that, at the end of October, Tasmania’s longest waiting patient for elective surgery, who is ready for care, had waited less than three years for their procedure.

By contrast, the longest waiting patient in March 2014, had waited more than a decade for surgery.

The AIHW report also shows Tasmania has the lowest rate of unplanned readmission after elective surgery, which is often due to surgical complications, of any state or territory. This is a fantastic achievement.

While Emergency Department wait times continue to be historically unacceptable, our Patient’s First plan has seen an investment of $5.4 million to get the care they need sooner.

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