Elective surgery waiting times have fallen at the Northern Hospital, with median treatment times falling below the state average for the first time in the past year.
Latest Victorian Health Service Performance data revealed that between April and June this year, the median waiting time for elective surgery at the hospital was 25 days, down from 65 days in June 2016. The statewide median was 30 days.
The Northern Hospital also slashed the number of people on its elective surgery waiting list, reducing it from 1935 people in June 2016 to 848 as of June 30 this year.
The performance data, which was released by the state government last week, revealed that the drop in elective surgery waiting times was driven by improvements to treatment times for ear, nose and throat and orthopaedic surgery.
The median waiting time for ENT surgery is now 71 days, down from 188 days in June 2016.
Patients requiring orthopaedic surgeries are waiting 62 days, down from 165 days.
However, waiting times for total hip and total knee replacements remain significantly above the state average of about 200 days.
Northern Health chief executive Siva Sivarajah said the reduction in the number of patients waiting for elective surgery was the result of a number of strategies aimed at increasing surgical capacity.
“These strategies include the opening of two new theatres at Broadmeadows hospital as part of the state government’s $17.3 million expansion, increased theatre session times, implementation of the surgical liaison nurse model and enhanced partnerships with rural health services,” he said.
“This quarter, Northern Health performed operations for 94 per cent of elective surgery patients within benchmark time – a steady increase compared to the same period last year when the figure was 69 per cent.”