National health figures highlight the McGowan Government continue to drop the ball on elective surgery outcomes for WA patients

Dec 7, 2022 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

The latest national health figures paint a poor picture of the McGowan Governments performance in delivering elective surgery outcomes for WA patients.

“The number of surgeries being undertaken in WA has fallen while the time people are waiting to receive those surgeries has also increased, leading to unacceptable outcomes for WA patients,” said Shadow for Health Libby Mettam.

Last financial year saw a 23% drop in elective surgery, which was second only to NSW (27%) pointing to an underresourced hospital system.

“The 2021/22 figure of 70,988 is also 17% below the pre-covid 2017 figure which shows how bad it has become.

The new figures also illustrate that the days waited at the 50th percentile increased from 39 to 43, the 90th Percentile from 199 to 276 and the number of people who have waited longer than a year has blown out to almost 5%.

“Elective surgery is essential surgery and delaying these procedures can lead to more serious acuity issues down the track, impacting overall health and wellbeing for patients as well.

“WA patients are paying the price for the inefficiencies that the McGowan Government has built into the hospital system.
“Despite all of the commentary from the government that they were embarking on an elective surgery blitz the reality is quite different.

“Going into COVID we had the lowest number of beds per capita and we have a health system which is struggling with a desperate game of catch up.

“This is reflective of a health system that has been running at capacity due to effective cuts in the health budget in their first term of Government.

“Where is the elective surgery blitz that was promised? Why has the McGowan Government failed to make health a priority?

“The McGowan Government must address these wait times and the capacity issues in the health system as a priority.”