Australian Private Hospitals Essential for Managing Backlogs of Elective Surgery: Industry Associations

According to the peak of industry groups, Australian private hospitals are essential to deal with the surge in elective surgery that is essential when restrictions are relaxed.

The number of patients on the waiting list for elective surgery in Australian public hospitals increased between 2020 and 21 as the hospital addressed the backlog caused by COVID-19 in the previous year. ..

“Non-urgent selective surgery was suspended nationwide in March 2020 to ensure that the medical system maintained sufficient capacity to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Report period from 2019 to 20 Dr. Adrian Webster, a spokesman for AIHW, said: statement..

according to New data According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), median waiting time for elective surgery increased by one week from 41 days before the pandemic (2018-19) to 48 days on 2020-21.

The percentage of patients who waited to be hospitalized for 365 days or more increased from 2.8% in the previous year to 7.6% from 2020 to 21.

The number of people added to the waiting list has also increased. Similar to the 2018-19 statistics, 893,000 patients were added to the elective surgery waiting list in 2020-21, up from 838,000 in the previous year.

Michael Roff, CEO of the Australian Private Hospital Association (APHA), the industry’s peak, said the increase in waiting times was significant.

Epoch Times Photo
Median waiting time for elective surgery increased by one week from 41 days before the pandemic (2018-19) to 48 days on 2020-21. (Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

“If we look at surgery by category, the increase in median waiting time is even more important. People waiting for head and neck surgery are currently waiting 84 to 112 days before COVID, while ophthalmologists are waiting at 73 days. It has been waiting 118 days and has increased for six and a half weeks, “he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Loff argued that private hospitals play an important role in eliminating the post-pandemic surgical backlog, as well as supporting the public system in responding to a pandemic.

“If private hospitals don’t regain slack, Australians will have to wait quite a long time for surgery. Cataract surgery often corrects vision problems, joint replacements relieve pain, and mobility. It is important for the quality of life, such as improving the quality of life. “

The CEO said the restrictions on the required elective surgery should not last more than a day.

“Omicron waves have peaked in some states because of the signs. Health departments need to talk to private hospitals about relaxing restrictions in a safe way, so hospitals have surgery. We are ready to improve our surgical capabilities to provide the coveted treatment for the Australians who have received it. It has been postponed. “

He also urged public hospitals to prioritize public patients over privately insured patients after the restrictions were relaxed.

“If restrictions are relaxed, public hospitals should not accept one privately insured patient until all public patients have been treated. When they stop treating public patients as second-class citizens. Came, “he said.

“It would be morally criticized if a public hospital brought in a large number of private insurance patients to take advantage of the longer waiting times that Australians had to deal with.”

Information on waiting time for elective surgery in public hospitals from 2020 to 21 has been released on AIHW My Hospitals Platform, national, state, territory, local hospital networks, hospital-specific data.

Epoch Times Sydney Staff