Surgery wait averaging 197 days

PATIENTS marked for urgent elective surgery are waiting up to 998 days to receive medical attention at the Launceston General Hospital, according to a document released by the state government yesterday.

A statewide elective surgery showed an average wait of 197 days for patients waiting for urgent elective surgery at the LGH.

The information from the Department of Health and Human Services records waiting times from a patient's initial referral to specialists by general practitioners.

The statistics show that 1196 people were in line for urgent elective surgery at the LGH, adding to an overall total of 7642 people on varying levels of priority for the facility.

A $76 million state government investment into elective surgery is expected to be rolled out in the 2014-15 financial year.

The funding includes the announcement of 40 staffed hospital beds across the state, two additional intensive care unit beds at the Royal Hobart Hospital, 110 full-time equivalent frontline health professionals and hospital workers.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the Liberals would introduce a reporting regime ``that reflects our new approach'' to hospitals and the DHHS.

``In line with our promises, we will work closely with clinicians and hospitals to improve management of outpatient clinics and waiting lists, to improve access for Tasmanians,'' Mr Ferguson said.

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