Waiting list pressure mounts
QUEENSLAND Health yesterday rejected claims by two Gympie women that they are on a revolving and apparently never ending waiting list for knee surgery.
Marilyn Mahon and Betty Perrett said they have been waiting for more than a year for knee replacement operations and have now been scratched from the Noosa Hospital waiting list and placed at the end of the queue at Nambour Hospital.
Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District CEO Kevin Hegarty yesterday said Noosa management had decided to cease elective joint replacement surgery from December last year as a deliberate budget management strategy.
He said that under the contract with Queensland Health, Noosa Hospital’s operator has responsibility to manage within the allocated budget for public health services, to manage and balance the mix of surgery so as to treat as many patients as possible, while also attending to the most urgent cases.
“The decision means patients have had to be transferred from Noosa, based on clinical priority,” he said. “The obvious need to transfer patients from the Noosa Hospital list was an agreed strategy, discussed formally at regular meetings between Noosa Hospital management and Nambour Hospital management.”
In all instances, clinical need is the priority, with the most urgent patients being treated first.