Funds to ease Queensland surgery backlog

Darren Cartwright
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles is announcing funding to clear the elective surgery backlog

The Palaszczuk government is committing $250 million on an elective surgery blitz to reduce the backlog in non-urgent operations created by COVID-19 restrictions.

Health Minister Steven Miles outlined the quarter of a billion dollar investment on Sunday that will ease the rising patient waitlist numbers and include ramping-up specialist appointments.

More than 7000 Queenslanders have waited longer than medically recommended for their procedures.

"We will be able to deliver 6000 additional operations, effectively clearing that long wait list," Mr Miles told reporters.

He said the funding would assist with 25,000 specialist appointments.

The additional funds will also provide extra theatre lists at night and on weekends and also buy theatre time in the private sector.

"That's 7000 Queenslanders who've waited longer than they should have to get these operations," he said.

Queensland had more than 52,200 patients on elective surgery lists on June 1.

The announcement comes as Queensland announced no new coronavirus cases and just five active cases across the state.

Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said more than 3,200 tests had been conducted over the past 24 hours.

She said the reopening of borders was still pencilled in for July 10 when Stage 3 restrictions would be triggered although she left room for the date to be brought forward.

"If things were a lot better, then of course we could bring that date forward, as it happened for this month on Stage 2," Dr Young said.

"It's really what happens at the end of June as to what will happen then for that Stage 3 of the road map."

Mr Miles said modelling had been undertaken on opening up to NSW first but their preference was "to lift the borders all at once."