Victorians waiting longer and in pain for urgent specialist and dental care

The quarterly health services performance figures for January-March 2021 continue to paint a bleak picture of Victoria’s health crisis.

Further failings of the Andrews Labor Government have been identified for vulnerable Victorians seeking specialist surgery and vital dental care.

Over the past three months, waiting times for Victorians requiring urgent first specialist clinic appointments have increased by two weeks, now up to 59 days – almost double the recommended time for these patients.

An urgent first appointment is reserved only for the sickest Victorians who need immediate care within 30 days of a referral.

The median wait time for routine first specialist clinic appointments has also blown out to 56 days, an additional seven days since the last quarter.

Over the last year patients for priority denture care are now waiting almost two months longer for access to care. Concerningly, this four month wait time is a month longer than the government’s own target.

Failings in the public dental system do not stop there, with Victorians seeking dental specialists for oral surgery, periodontics and paedodontics now waiting 11 months for treatment. This is two months longer than the nine-month target.

Victoria’s health system has become overwhelmed on all fronts. If the Andrews Labor Government does not act quickly it will only jeopardise the health and wellbeing of more Victorians.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier:

“Whether it is elective surgery wait time blow outs, the overwhelmed ambulance crisis and now major delays for dental and specialist care, right across the health system Victorians are being left behind by the Andrews Labor Government.

“Victorians are being left behind in pain and agony when seeking access to vital dental and specialist care.

“These delays will only continue to increase the risk of adverse health outcomes for thousands of Victorians.”

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