Elective surgery waitlist remains at all-time high

Victoria’s latest hospital performance data shows that in the months before COVID-19’s impact, Victoria’s health system spiralled to its worst performance in the state’s history.

As at 31 March 2020, 50,604 Victorians were officially waiting for elective surgery, an increase of 27 per cent in just 9 months.

While fewer patients are receiving surgery in time, 13 per cent or almost 6,000 patients failed to receive treatment in clinically recommended times, the worst result in 4 years.

Despite the Andrews Government’s attempt to blame COVID-19 on the record waiting list levels, the elective surgery ban only came into effect for the last five days of the reporting period. In fact, prior to this, the government proudly boasted about committing $60 million for an elective surgery blitz to bring down the waitlist.

Ambulance response times have also worsened with Code 1 response times 36 seconds slower than last year, Code 2 response times were more than 2.5 minutes slower and the proportion of patients reached within 15 minutes was 81.8 per cent, the worst result since December 2017.

Hiding behind COVID-19, Health Minister Mikakos has presided over successive blowouts in surgery waiting lists.

The Minister must come forward and explain her post COVID-19 plan to reduce surgery waiting lists from the record highs Victorians are suffering through, instead of the political spin she all too often delivers.

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