WIDE Bay Hospital and Health Service patients are benefiting from some of the best turn-around times in Australia for elective surgery.
The median elective surgery waiting times for Australia's public hospitals for 2016-17, recently released via the My Hospitals website, reveal that Wide Bay public patients have among the shortest waiting times in the country.
Bundaberg Hospital is leading the way for non-urgent Category 3 patients, with a median waiting time of 80 days compared to an Australian median of 229 days for its large regional hospital peer group.
Hervey Bay Hospital was also a stand-out for Category 3 patients, with a median of 139 days, while Maryborough Hospital's median of 90 days was also well within its peer group median of 126 for medium regional hospitals.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson congratulated the WBHHS elective surgery team for its work in delivering shorter waiting times for local patients.
"On behalf of the board, I want to congratulate our clinicians and support staff whose dedication, innovation and professionalism have resulted in these outstanding results," Ms Jamieson said.
"For a number of years WBHHS has been meeting targets to treat all elective surgery patients within their clinically-recommended waiting times, but the Board asked our team to aspire to a new standard that goes above and beyond those targets.
"The median waiting times in this report are evidence of how aspiring to a new standard is resulting in better turn-around times and better outcomes for WBHHS elective surgery patients."
WBHHS Chief Executive Adrian Pennington said reductions in the median waiting time could be linked to efforts to cut in half waiting times for Category 3 patients.
"WBHHS set an internal target of delivering elective surgery to non-urgent Category 3 patients within half the recommended 365 day waiting time - which we started to achieve last year," Mr Pennington said.
"The median waiting times released by My Hospitals are a reflection of the effort to ensure no patient waits more than six months for elective surgery at our hospitals.
"Our community can have real confidence that they will receive quality and timely care when they need elective surgery at a local hospital."
Ms Jamieson said the waiting times for elective surgery were important because they resulted in patients returning home sooner and being able to get back to their normal life.
"The Board has set high standards for waiting times at our local hospitals because we know how important it is to be treated quickly," Ms Jamieson said.
"By receiving elective surgery in a timely manner, patients are more likely to have good surgical outcomes and are less likely to have complications post-surgery, which enables them to head home sooner and resume their everyday life.
"In turn this enables people to provide an income for their families and contribute to the local economy again."
Information on the median waiting times can be found at: https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/our-reports/elective-surgery-waiting-times/december-2017/overview