Jane Griffiths: Day hospitals have capacity and will to alleviate wait list pain

Western Australia is the only state in Australia where the State health department doesn’t work with private day hospitals to relieve the agonising wait of surgery wait lists.

Given the State health crisis that WA is currently experiencing, West Australians should be pushing the Government to know why, when using the private day hospital sector would directly help West Australians who desperately need surgery to improve the quality of their lives.

WA public hospitals are in constant bed block and ambulance ramping is still as bad as it’s ever been.

Recently surgeries at one of the larger private hospital have shut down leaving paediatric patients and their families, with limited options or to join the public wait list.

There are no clear estimates of exactly how many West Australians are on public surgery wait lists, because the health department doesn’t count those who have been referred to a specialist but are yet to be seen. The AMA’s calculated estimate for 2022/2023 suggested that the back log of patients is 57,085 people, who are either languishing on the waiting list or who have been referred for a specialist consultation at a public hospital but have not been seen.

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