Elective surgery demand keeps local surgeons busy.
Elective surgery demand keeps local surgeons busy. Johnny Greig

How long you'll wait for surgery at Rockhampton hospitals

ROCKHAMPTON Hospital has a near-perfect scorecard for delivering elective surgery on time but Emerald Hospital is struggling to treat all patients within the recommended timeframe.  

A NewsRegional analysis of Queensland Health elective surgery data shows Rockhampton surgeons only kept 1 per cent of general surgery patients waiting longer than they are supposed to in the 12 months to March 31.

The hospital performed 4113 elective operations across six specialties, with general and orthopedic surgery being the most common.

In Emerald, surgeons completed 178 elective general and gynaecology operations.

Those needing gynaecological surgery were the most likely to wait beyond the recommended timeframes across the 52 weeks.

Rockhampton patients can expect to wait up to 266 days for elective surgery with the longest delay being for ophthalmology operations.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service chief executive Steve Williamson said the successful delivery of surgical services was "complex and challenging" and the organisation was constantly trying to find ways to improve outcomes.

"Elective surgery categorisation ensures those with the greatest need are treated first, but many factors have an impact on the delivery, including demand, the number of emergency surgeries required as a priority, the availability of specialist surgeons and specialist support staff, as well as capacity across the broader hospital for admission post-surgery," Mr Williamson said.

"We undertake plenty of planning to ensure our service can match expected demands.

"Our long-term strategic planning document Destination 2030: Great Care for Central Queenslanders highlights our commitment to provide surgical services safely as close to home as possible for our patients.

"This includes planning to expand surgical services in Emerald, Gladstone and Biloela, supported by Rockhampton for general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology and orthopedics."

Mr Williamson said CQ Health was also working on recruiting and retaining skilled and specialised staff to ensure the service kept up with future demand.

 

Demand on our hospital emergency department continues to grow.
Demand on our hospital emergency department continues to grow. MJFelt

Pressure on our emergency departments

ROCKHAMPTON residents are waiting up to 16 minutes in the emergency department before receiving medical attention.

Queensland Health data for May shows there were 4067 emergency department presentations at Rockhampton hospital. 

About 84 per cent of patients were treated within the recommended timeframe.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service chief executive Steve Williamson said all category one patients - the sickest and most seriously injured - were treated within two minutes of arrival, which is within the clinically recommended timeframe.

"During busy periods patients with less urgent conditions may have to wait to be seen while seriously ill people are receiving their care," Mr Williamson said.

"There are peaks and troughs of activity, but our ED staff are well trained to work through those and ensure demand is met.

"We have more specialist emergency doctors on staff in Rockhampton than ever before and this enables our teams to provide sustainable and consistent care." - NewsRegional

BY THE NUMBERS

Statistics for Rockhampton Hospital

Median emergency department wait in May 2018: 12 minutes.

Emergency department presentations in May: 4067.

Number of elective surgery operations in the 12 months to March 31: 4113

Source: Queensland Health

News Corp Australia


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