Lengthy wait times for elective surgeries expected to be slashed

Patients waiting for elective surgeries with some of the longest wait times, including hip and knee replacements and cataract extractions, are set to benefit from a $3 million funding injection into specific local health districts.

The average waiting time for a knee replacement at a NSW public hospital is about 288 days, the wait time for a cataract extraction is about 216 days and patients wait an average of 203 days for a hip replacement, according to the latest Bureau of Health Information data from December 2016.

More than 1650 patients got a knee replacement and 943 people got a hip replacement in a NSW public hospital between October and December 2016.

In comparison, the wait time for a gall bladder removal, which was required by about 1570 people during that period, was 49 days.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the new funding will make the state's elective surgery performance "even better".

"The sooner people have their operations, the sooner they can get on with their lives," Mr Hazzard said.

"NSW already has the best on-time elective surgery performance in the country and this $3 million boost will make it even better."

Funding will be allocated to local health districts on the basis of proposals submitted to a panel of NSW Health and Agency of Clinical Innovation staff.

More than 320,000 patients underwent surgery in a NSW public hospital in 2016-17 and the number of overdue elective surgeries fell from more than 2600 in December 2009 to 210 in June 2017, according to Mr Hazzard.

Wait times for surgeries were sustained or improved across all categories and there were more than 5000 additional surgeries in 2016-17.

This story Lengthy wait times for elective surgeries expected to be slashed first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.