Across Australia the four-year elective surgery waiting list reduction plan includes three stages:
- Stage 1: $150 million to conduct an immediate national blitz to help dramatically reduce the backlog of patients waiting longer than clinically recommended for elective surgery
- Stage 2: $150 million to make systemic improvements to the hospital system and improve elective surgery throughput in the long term
- Stage 3: up to $300 million in dividend payments to States and Territories that dramatically increase the number of elective surgeries completed within the clinically recommended time by the end of the four-year plan.
The Northern Territory has been allocated $5.3 million for stage 1 of the elective surgery waiting list reduction plan. For this money the NT has committed to perform an additional 500 elective surgical procedures between March and December 2008.
Funding was allocated to four of the five Northern Territory hospitals to allow them to increase their elective surgery.
Those who have been waiting longer than clinical appropriate have been identified from the elective surgery waiting list. The surgical specialties of orthopaedics, ear, nose and throat, ophthalmology and general surgery are being specifically targeted for the project.
Darwin Private Hospital
An agreement has been reached between Royal Darwin Hospital and Darwin Private Hospital to allow public patients to have their surgery at RDH and the post-operative recovery at DPH. Ten beds are available each weekday and 5 beds each day of the weekend. Patients are allocated daily from the RDH operation list.
The Northern Territory has been allocated $2.1 million to:
- Increase operating theatre capacity at Royal Darwin and Alice Springs hospitals.
- Implement processes to improve timely access to surgical procedures for patients from remote communities, in particular Indigenous patients.
The following data tables provide information around the number of elective surgical procedures performed and the number of patients still waiting across the Northern Territory hospital network.
- Table 1. Elective Surgery Admissions: - this is a summary of the number of patients who have had their procedure during the quarter and the median waiting time. This has been broken down by clinical urgency code.
- Table 2. Indicator Procedure Waiting Times: - this will provide you with the median waiting times for patients to have similar surgery over the last quarter.
- Table 3. Elective Surgery Waiting List by Specialty: - shows the number of patients still waiting for their procedure and the number of patients who are overdue at the end of the quarter. This information is also broken down by surgical specialty and only counts the patients who are 'ready for care'.