In 2012-13 239 patients did not show for their surgery, an increase of 56 patients on the previous year.
In 2012-13 239 patients did not show for their surgery, an increase of 56 patients on the previous year.

Waiting lists in chaos as 239 'forget' to have surgery

AN INCREASING number of patients are failing to turn up for scheduled surgery at Ipswich Hospital, throwing waiting lists into chaos.

In 2012-13 239 patients did not show for their surgery, an increase of 56 patients on the previous year.

West Moreton health officials identified the gaps left in surgery schedules by no shows causes delays for the person seeking treatment and those on the waiting list.

Health Board Chair Dr Mary Corbett said the health service want to improve the number of people on the waiting lists for urology, ear, nose and throat, plastic and orthopaedic elective surgery.

"We know we have work to do in improving our wait times, and to help improve this, we must work together with the community.

"Another way we can decrease wait times is by reducing the number of patients who fail to attend their appointments. And, we need the community's help to achieve this."

A survey of patients revealed a need for the health service to provide patients with more ways for to contact hospital staff about surgical appointments.

Statistics on website myhospital.gov.au show waiting times for ear, nose, throat, orthopaedic and urology surgery are shorter than the national average.

Waiting times for plastic surgery are longer than the national average, with patients waiting 34 days at Ipswich Hospital, compared to 24 nationally.

Dr Corbett said hospital staff are unable to slot in another patient if someone does not arrive for their appointment.

"When patients fail to attend appointments, it means that missed appointment time is not available to someone else who is waiting.

"This causes delays not only in treating the individual person, but also for the treatment of other patients. Staff spend a lot of time following up patients who do not attend appointments."



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