It turns out that if you have a problem with your eyes, ears, nose or throat you could be waiting a heck of a long time before you’re able to get surgery.
A new report out today has revealed that eye, ear, nose and throat patients have to wait the longest for elective surgery on these areas, despite the fact that many are living in discomfort or pain.
Data from the public health system shows 711,854 patients were admitted to public hospitals from wait lists in 2015-2016.
Around 90 per cent of elective surgery patients were admitted within 260 days, a figure that’s up by 10 days more than 2011-2012.
So why aren’t these wait times reducing rather than increasing?
While it may be deemed ‘elective’ surgery, many patients suffering from problems in the eye, ear, nose and throat area say it can be difficult to live with the condition and the exasperated wait times only make it worse.
However, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, who released the report, say the results are positive as they show wait times are remaining mostly steady without any major blowouts.
The report found ophthalmology (eye) patients had the longest median wait time for surgery (78 days) followed by ear, nose and throat surgery (74 days), and orthopaedic surgery (67 days).
So who came out on top?
Understandably, cardiothoracic surgeries had the shortest median wait times of 17 days.
Those who needed a coronary artery bypass graft got in faster than any other procedure, with a median wait time of 13 days.
While the wait time figures are being hailed a success by the institute and many in the medical field, we’re interested to hear your thoughts on this.