BATHURST’S growing population has led to an increased waiting time for orthopaedic surgery services at the hospital.
Patients are waiting an average of two months longer for elective orthopaedic surgery, Bureau of Health Information (BHI) quarterly data for October to December 2017 shows.
In the latest reporting quarter, patients waited an average of 264 days (8.8 months) for an operation. This is up from 200 days (6.7 months) during the same period in 2016.
Further, the wait time for a total hip replacement has also increased – from 219 days to 302, while the wait for a total knee replacement has risen from 198 days to 309.
Bathurst Hospital acting general manager Cathy Marshall said the hospital had performed 38 per cent more orthopaedic surgery cases in the last 12 months compared with the previous year.
“Current orthopaedic surgery waiting times at Bathurst Hospital are reflective of the increase in the number of patients being treated,” she said.
“The higher number of patients receiving orthopaedic surgery can be attributed to the growing population of the Bathurst area recorded in the last 12 months.”
Despite longer waiting times for orthopaedic surgery in Bathurst, Ms Marshall said NSW targets for all types of surgery, including total knee and total hip replacements, continue to be met by Bathurst Hospital.
Meanwhile, the waiting time at Bathurst Hospital for ear, nose and throat surgeries have increased slightly.
In the most recent reporting quarter, patients waited an average of 69 days for their operation, which has jumped up from 46 days.
There was also a slight increase in wait for a tonsillectomy (47 to 70 days) and opthalmology surgeries (167 days to 187).
There were, however, a number of decreases in waiting times for patients at Bathurst Hospital, including in general surgery which fell form 43 days to 29, and urology (from 56 days to 27).