Elective surgery wait lists across all categories in Tasmania have increased, new data has revealed.
The quarterly Health System Dashboard update showed across all categories statewide the number of people waiting for elective surgery in March 2020 was 11,307 compared to 11,106 in December 2019.
On average in March, Category 1 patients were waiting 96 days longer than the clinically recommended time for surgery, Category 2 waited 167 days longer, and Category waited 154 days longer.
In April 2019, Category 1 were waiting 56 days longer than clinically recommended, Category 2 was waiting 120 days longer and Category 3 was waiting 104 days longer.
Health Minister Sarah Courtney said the dashboard was beginning to show the impact of the pandemic on the health system's performance.
"The month of March showed a downturn in emergency department presentations and number of patients admitted, as well as ambulance dispatches," Ms Courtney said.
"It is expected that Tasmania will see further increases in waiting lists, with disruptions continuing in the way some clinics and services are able to be delivered."
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But Labor health spokeswoman Sarah Lovell said all but five days of the data predated the cancellation of Category 2 and Category 3 surgeries due to COVID-19 on March 26.
"For the Health Minister to say this latest dashboard shows the anticipated impact of COVID-19 is disingenuous at best," Ms Lovell said.
"Even though some surgeries have resumed, these figures mean we can expect much worse figures to come, putting enormous pressure on the state's already stretched health system.
"While the government needs to prioritise the response to the impact of COVID-19, these figures clearly demonstrate the need for an overarching plan to catch up on the state's backlog of surgeries and improve the health system generally."
Meanwhile, the quarterly Human Services Dashboard update showed the average time taken to find accommodation for priority housing applicants has decreased by six weeks.
For the March quarter, it was taking 59 weeks to house priority applicants compared to 65 weeks in the December 2019 quarter.
The number of applicants on the housing register has increased to 3578 applicants compared to 3355 in April 2019.
The number of children in out-of-home care has remained stable with just seven children in active transition, meaning they have been referred for an investigation but are yet to be allocated a case worker within priority timeframes, in March compared to 151 in April 2019.
Human Services Minister Roger Jaensch said the data showed improvements in a number of areas and it was pleasing there were only seven children in active transition as this was the lowest number ever recorded.