Budget boost for SA surgery lists

·1-min read

An extra $20 million will be allocated in the upcoming South Australian budget to help reduce wait times for elective surgery.

The funding will be specifically targeted towards surgeries where the greatest impact on wait times will be achieved.

Operations will be conducted in both public and private hospitals with estimates the cash will pay for 3000 procedures.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said that while good progress was being made on reducing waitlists for elective surgery and colonoscopies, the COVID-19 pandemic had interrupted those efforts with two complete shutdowns of elective surgery last year.

"We have been focused on driving down the number of people waiting for elective surgeries longer than clinically recommended, and we continue to make progress in this area," Mr Wade said.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly slowed these efforts, in recent months we have begun to make real progress in reducing the backlog.

"This $20 million injection of additional funding will fast-track these efforts."

"Reducing the waiting time for patients who require elective surgery is a major priority for the government and we are determined to help South Australians get off the overdue list and receive the health care they need."

The minister said work was already underway to maximise the impact of budget investment.

"We know that public hospitals around the country are experiencing a surge of pressure on their emergency departments, and that this often has a knock-on effect for other parts of our hospital system, including elective surgery," he said.

"This investment will have the added benefit of reducing pressures on our public hospitals while allowing us to continue to drive down elective surgery wait times."

The SA budget will be handed down on June 22.