Surgery waitlist in Victoria hits four year low

By Our Reporter
Representational impage. Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The number of Victorians waiting for planned surgery has dropped to its lowest level since the pandemic began.

To deliver more surgery, the government has established Patient Support Units at 23 health services across Victoria to help patients prepare for surgery, opened two new public surgical centres and delivered 10 new Rapid Access Hubs – to streamline services and free up theatres and ward capacity in our busy hospitals.

Almost 51,000 Victorians received their planned surgery between January and March 2024 with the waitlist now at 62,228 – the lowest it’s been since 2019/20 quarter four (April-June) and almost 30 per cent lower than when the COVID Catch Up Plan was launched in April 2022.

Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas today announced the quarter three performance data shows continued signs of recovery, including improved emergency department and planned surgery wait times and ambulance response times.

99.99 per cent of Category 1 patients received their surgery in the recommended timeframes – and almost 80 per cent of patients across all three categories were treated on time.

More than 153,000 planned surgeries have been delivered so far in 2023/24 – 10 per cent more than the same time last year. Despite record demand with more than 493,000 presentations, emergency departments treated patients five minutes faster than pre-pandemic.

Health services also delivered 45 per cent more planned surgeries in the financial year to date, than the same time in 2022, prior to the plan commencing.

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