Government announces surgery wait guarantee

Member for Toowoomba South, John McVeigh and Member for Toowoomba North, Trevor Watts, said from February 1 next year, the LNP Government’s Wait Time Guarantee would ensure all eligible Queenslanders who are ready for elective surgery will have their procedure within the medically recommended time.

“If our local Hospital and Health Service [HHS] cannot provide surgery within this time, then patients will be ordered the next available appointment in a public or private hospital at no cost,” Mr McVeigh said.

“This surgery will be arranged by the original hospital, and patients will not have to pay for any travel or accommodation costs if they are treated more than 50km from their original hospital.

“This is a fundamental change for local residents – as they will no longer be just a number in the queue for surgery.”

He said previously nearly 1 in 5 Queensland patients – 17% – waited too long for their surgery.

“We expect to have this at 0% by the end of the year – and the LNP’s Guarantee will keep it at 0%,” Mr McVeigh Said.

Member for Toowoomba North, Trevor Watts said in just over two and a half years, the LNP had transformed Queensland Health from being a Department even the Labor Party wanted to destroy, into a patient- focused service which is now ordering an Australian first to Queensland residents.

“We promised to revitalise frontline health services for Queenslanders – and today’s announcement reiterates our determination to deliver on that commitment,” he said.

“This is a strong team, with a strong plan to deliver the services we need.”

Mr Watts said from 1 February 2015, all eligible elective surgery will be carried out within the following nationally declined times:

  • Urgent (category 1): Surgery recommended within 30 days of being

added to the wait list, as the condition could get worse and become an emergency

  • Semi-urgent (category 2): Surgery recommended within 90 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition is causing pain or disability but is unlikely to become an emergency
  • Non-urgent (category 3): Surgery recommended within 365 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition is causing minimal pain or disability.

Mr Watts said patients who were currently on Queensland Health’s elective surgery wait list would soon receive a letter explaining how the guarantee works.

For more information about the Wait Time Guarantee visit or call 1300 332 807 between 7am and 9pm, 7 days a week.

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