ALMOST 900 people were waiting for elective surgery at Bathurst Hospital at the end of March, new data shows.
The figures, published in the Bureau of Health Information’s quarterly report, show a 6.2 per cent drop in the number of elective surgeries performed at the hospital during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same time period in 2017.
During January to March this year 419 patients had elective surgery, this is down from 445 during the same period last year.
By the end of the quarter a further 868 people were still waiting for their operation. This is up from 823 the year prior.
The decline was in a range of categories, including: urgent (87 during January-March 2017 down to 78 in the same quarter of 2018), semi-urgent (133 down to 130) and non-urgent (195 to 176), however staged surgeries increased (30 to 35).
The average wait time for some of the most common surgical procedures increased for: cataract extraction (236 days in 2018 compared to 205 in 2017); cholecystectomy (75 days up from 41); total hip replacement (304 days compared to 130); and total knee replacement (336 up from 258).
However, the median waiting time for a tonsillectomy dropped dramatically – from an average 302 day wait down to 105 days.
Meanwhile, 100 per cent of urgent surgery cases were treated within clinically recommended time frame, up from 98 9 per cent.
While 98.5 per cent semi-urgent and 100 per cent of non-urgent surgeries were performed within the recommended time – these figures are the same as in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) was successful in receiving $976,000 in funding for additional surgeries across the region as part of an additional $3 million the NSW Government is providing through the Increasing Access to Elective Surgery Initiative 2017.
A WNSWLHD spokesman said the funding would ensure more cataract removal, total hip replacement and total knee replacement procedures were performed this financial year.
Across the district, there was a six per cent increase in the number of elective surgeries performed during the January to March quarter when compared to the same period last year, with 99.5 per cent of elective surgeries performed on time.
The NSW Government has invested a record $15.3 billion in acute health services across the state this year.