I write to clarify claims made in a story in yesterday’s Leader titled “Long wait for a bed in Inverell” (NDL, Tuesday 31 July, page 3).
Inverell hospital has a strong track record for ensuring the vast majority of patients receive their surgery on-time. The hospital’s performance is recorded in the NSW Bureau of Health Information (BHI) reports made available to the public every three months.
According to the bureau figures, during the January to March 2012, Inverell hospital performed
52 surgeries – 20 of those were semi-urgent (to receive surgery within 90 days) and 18 were non-urgent (to receive surgery within 365 days).
It’s important that the community knows all 20 semi-urgent surgeries scheduled between January and March 2012 were performed within their clinically recommended time frame. Although the median wait days for this category slightly increased from 47 days (January to March 2011) to 74 days (January to March 2012) all patients continue to have surgery well within their clinically recommended time frame of 90 days.
Of the 18 non-urgent surgeries performed in the first quarter of 2012, 61 per cent (11 patients) received their surgery on time.
In the past financial year (2011 - 2012) Inverell hospital scheduled 12 extra operating theatre lists in order to meet the demand for elective surgery and to ensure all patients were provided with surgery dates so they could receive their procedure on time.
The Bureau of Health Information figures I’ve presented above can be viewed at www.bhi.nsw.gov.au
Health Service Manager