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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1272 ..

Canberra Hospital Waiting List Audit

(Question No. 119)

Mr Stanhope asked the Minister for Health and Community Care, upon notice, on 25 March 1999:

In relation to the Canberra Hospital Waiting List Audit:

(1) When was the last audit conducted?

(2) On what basis was the January 1999 audit conducted and who conducted the audit?

(3) Are there any future plans to reduce the waiting list by removing patients either by (a) future audits or (b) alternative measures?

(4) Is it the case that 325 patients were removed from the waiting lists, if so how many were removed because of:

  1. death;
  2. the procedure was carried out elsewhere;
  3. moved interstate; and
  4. decided against the procedure or otherwise gave up.

Mr Moore: The answers to Mr Stanhope's questions are as follows:

(1) The last audit was conducted over the months of October to December 1998. Patients on the list were contacted to ascertain their current status on the list. Patients who did not respond to initial inquiries were followed up in early 1999.

(2) The audit was conducted by the Bed Management Unit at The Canberra Hospital. At the time the audit was undertaken the Surgical Bookings area was incorporated in the Bed Management Unit. This was a routine audit.

(3) Regular auditing of the waiting list is needed for administrative purposes (to reduce any inefficiencies in handling the list) and sometimes administrative changes such as this can cause fluctuations in the reported numbers. It is recognised that the audit itself does not change the actual number of people in the community awaiting surgery, it only allows the list to better reflect this number. Hospitals around Australia handle auditing differently according to their own needs and patient demographics.

TCH will be undertaking full audits every six months and there is a quarterly review of the patients on the list by their surgeon. In the quarterly reviews, the surgeon is sent a copy of their waiting list as the hospital understands it to be and the surgeon is requested to make the appropriate changes. These changes can include removals from the list if the surgeon knows that the patient has received surgery elsewhere.

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