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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Waiting lists cut thanks to Palaszczuk Government initiative

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Friday, July 14, 2017

    Waiting lists cut thanks to Palaszczuk Government initiative

    Queenslanders with specialist outpatient appointments have seen waiting lists slashed thanks to a Palaszczuk Government initiative.

    Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the Government’s $361.2 million Specialist Outpatient Strategy helped reduce the number of Queenslanders waiting longer than clinically recommended for a specialist appointment.

    “This Queensland-first strategy that is being implemented over four years is already delivering on its goal of cutting waiting lists and improving access to specialist services by 2020,” Mr Dick said.

    “When we came to office, there were 104,000 Queenslanders waiting longer than clinically recommended for a specialist appointment. That number has dropped to 38,000 – a fall of 63%.

    “This initiative has meant that more than 65,000 Queenslanders who might otherwise have still been waiting have been able to have their first outpatient appointment."

    Mr Dick said a key component of the strategy was improving access to enhanced telehealth services.

    “Since it began, the Specialist Outpatient Strategy has funded more than 3800 additional telehealth services across 29 facilities,” he said.

    “In the past year alone more than 60,000 outpatient service events have been delivered via telehealth across Queensland, a 37 per cent increase compared with the previous year, enabling more rural, regional and remote patients to access specialist care closer to home.”

    Mr Dick said Queensland Health funding from the Specialist Outpatient Strategy was enabling hardworking staff to deliver more services.

    The Palaszczuk Government has employed more than 1300 doctors and over 4000 nurses since coming to government.

    “This proves that when you fund the front line, you lose the long wait,” Mr Dick said.

    “Specialist outpatient services are essential to ensuring patients receive access to diagnostic assessment, screening and treatment, allow for ongoing management of chronic and complex conditions and provide pre and post hospital care.”

    Health Consumers Queensland Chief Executive Officer Melissa Fox said it was distressing for anyone to have to wait longer than clinically indicated to access outpatient services. 

    “The Queensland Government’s Specialist Outpatient Strategy is recognition that the system must do all it can to prevent this,” Ms Fox said. 

    “We recognise the committed action that is being taken across the State to keep reducing the number of Queenslanders experiencing long waits for the care we need. 

    “Through representing the interests of consumers and carers on the Specialist Outpatient Strategy Steering Committee, our organisation will continue to support the implementation of solutions to tackle the often complex reasons for long wait times, in order to continue to drive the wait lists down.”

    The Specialist Outpatient Strategy involves 11 investment initiatives for implementation by 2020 to improve outpatient services.

    “This includes funding for Hospital and Health Services to provide more specialist outpatient appointments and establishing or enhancing alternative models of care, such as allied health and telehealth, to provide patients in rural and remote parts of the state with access to services closer to home,” Mr Dick said.

    Find out more about the strategy at https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/strategic-direction/improving-service/specialist-outpatient-strategy/default.asp.

    ENDS

     

    Media contact:              

    Cath Palmer                    0424 823 424