WAITING times for elective surgery shortened at Orange Health Service at the end of last year, but the state Labor Opposition says they are still too long.
According to the latest Bureau of Health Information report, covering October to December 2018, the number of people waiting for non-urgent elective surgery rose 5 per cent on the same time in 2017, to 1416 cases.
Despite the increase, the average waiting times for those who were operated on dropped from 305 days to 294 days.
The longest waiting times were for tonsillectomies (320 days), cataract extractions (308 days), knee replacements (275 days) and hip replacements (238 days).
By comparison, Dubbo Base Hospital had 1548 patients waiting for an average of 272 days.
The clinically recommended timeframe for non-urgent surgery is 365 days, which all patients met, however Opposition health spokesman Walt Secord said it was still "absolutely unacceptable" and part of a wider trend across the state of growing number of patients needing surgery.
Other waiting times at Orange Health Service:
- Hysterectomy 91 days
- Gall bladder removal 25 days
- Bladder examination 22 days
- Uterus examination 35 days
- Hernia operation 45 days
- General surgery 12 days
- Prostate removal 69 days
Mr Secord said for the first time, non-urgent elective surgery waiting lists had passed 80,000, with 80,836 patients waiting for procedures, compared to 66,000 patients in 2011, 5 per cent of them in the Western Local Health District.
"While the Berejiklian Government may describe cataract removal and knee and hip replacements as non-urgent, to an elderly patient who is unable to drive to a doctor's appointment or can't read a newspaper due to failing eye sight, they are bloody urgent," he said.
He said Central West emergency departments were also under pressure, with more than 25 per cent of patients waiting longer than the recommended four hours at Orange.
A Western LHD spokeswoman said all elective surgeries were performed on time and the 1476 patients at Orange were categorised as 'ready for surgery'.
"It is important to note that 'ready for surgery' is not an overdue list, it simply means the number of people booked in to have their surgery," she said.
She said the number of patients were relatively stable and waiting times were individually determined based on a clinical assessment of a patient's condition.
"If a patient's condition changes, their specialist can allocate them an earlier date for surgery," she said.
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