Report shows you will have to wait for elective surgery

ALMOST 5000 Mid North Coast residents are in the queue for elective procedures including hip and knee replacements, according to a new report.

The Bureau of Health Information report released on Thursday revealed that, at the end of March, 4606 patients were waiting for elective surgery at hospitals in the Mid North Coast Local Health District.

Of that number, 1309 were waiting for cataract extraction, 401 for a total knee replacement, 176 for a hip replacement, 175 for a tonsillectomy and 144 for an inguinal herniorrhaphy.

While 100% of patients with urgent cases received elective surgery on time throughout the district in the January to March quarter, the average waiting time for non-urgent surgery was 321 days - with some patients waiting 347 days.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the NSW figures showed the state's hospitals were improving their performance.

"The proportion of patients who received elective surgery is the highest result ever reported," Mrs Skinner said.

Mid North Coast emergency departments recorded improvements in the quarter, with 84% of patients receiving surgery within the four-hour benchmark set by NSW Health.

Coffs Harbour Base Hospital's figure of 79% was above the 77% achieved in the same period in 2014.

North Coast Local Health chief executive Stewart Dowrick said the improvement could be attributed to the hard work of staff and initiatives such as the Whole of Hospital program.

The program streamlines processes and communication throughout a hospital.

Fast Facts

79% of patients left Coffs Harbour ED within the four-hour standard set by NSW Health.

The hospital treated 9275 emergency patients from January to March.

Most popular elective surgeries (January-March 2015) - cystoscopy (104), tonsillectomy (45), total knee replacement (45).

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