MORE than 2800 elective surgeries were cancelled by Tasmanian hospitals last financial year, according to figures tabled in the Upper House last week.
The figures, released by Labor MLC Craig Farrell, showed that the Royal Hobart Hospital had the most postponed surgeries at 1488, following by the Launceston General Hospital at 924.
Burnie's North-West Regional Hospital had 281 scheduled surgeries cancelled, and the Mersey Community Hospital had 200.
Most surgeries were cancelled due to an overriding emergency, a more urgent elective case, a lack of beds or postponement by a surgeon.
Opposition health spokesman Jeremy Rockliff used the figures yesterday to support the Liberals' plan to separate elective and emergency surgery into different streams.
According to the opposition's alternative budget, released earlier this year, this would be achieved by establishing surgical precincts at the Royal Hobart hospital.
"In other jurisdictions, separate streaming of elective and emergency surgeries has ensured both can proceed, with benefits for the patient, hospital and doctors," Mr Rockliff said.
Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said the RHH already planned its elective and emergency flow separately, with theatres dedicated to acute or elective procedures.
"The issue emerges when demand for emergency care exceeds those dedicated resources - so simply splitting the streams is not the silver bullet," she said.
Ms O'Byrne said the Commission on Health Service Delivery was investigating all matters related to elective surgery and efficient health care delivery.
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