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RCH kids continue to wait for surgery

17 April 2014

The Victorian and Commonwealth governments must adequately fund Victoria’s paediatric services, as children are waiting too long for surgery.

For many Victorians, the Easter weekend is synonymous with the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Good Friday Appeal, which raises funds for medical equipment, research and education.

“The funds raised in the Good Friday Appeal allow the Royal Children’s Hospital to continue to provide vital services above and beyond what government funding allows,” AMA Victoria Vice President, Dr Tony Bartone, said.

“The Victorian Government has primary responsibility for funding the state’s health system and they must dramatically improve paediatric wait times for elective surgery.

“When I was fourteen, I had a tympanoplasty operation (surgical repair of a perforated ear drum) at the Royal Children’s. I certainly didn’t wait 185 days for this surgery – which is the current median wait time for a category 3, non-urgent operation.

“Too many children are waiting for surgery, and they’re waiting too long. It is detrimental to a child’s health and development to spend extended periods of time away from their family and school. The Government must act,” Dr Bartone said.

Royal Children’s Hospital performance data  Jul-Sep 2012 Jul- Sep 2013

Number of elective surgery patients on the waiting list
3,266 3,360
Median time to treatment for all elective surgery patients 57 days 57 days
Median time to treatment Category 3 patients 181 days 185 days
Median time to treatment Category 2 patients 50 days 56 days
Median time to treatment Category 1 patients 6 days 5 days
Proportion of patients waiting longer than 365 days for general surgery 1.3% 3.9%
Media contact
Felicity Ryan
Australian Medical Association Victoria
Mobile: 0437 450 506
Telephone: (03) 9280 8753

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