Labor-Greens government falling way short of its own ED and elective surgery targets


Less than half of all emergency patients were treated on time compared to the government’s 70 per cent target as the Labor-Greens government continues to fall way short of its own emergency and elective surgery goals.

The 2022-23 Health Budget reveals only 48 per cent of people seeking treatment at Emergency Departments were seen on time in 2021-22, despite almost 10,000 fewer presentations than the previous year (6.5 per cent drop).

The figures were just as bad for elective surgery. Only 56 per cent of Category 2 semi-urgent patients were operated on within 90 days compared to the government’s target of 80 per cent.

Further, only 79 per cent of Category 3 patients had their surgery within the recommended one year, compared to the government’s 93 per cent target.

Shadow Health Minister Leanne Castley said the ACT had the worst ED wait times in the country despite the Health Minister’s promise in February last year to fix them by October 2021.

“The Health Minister has been in the job more than three years, yet she has failed to fix our appalling ED wait times like she promised,” Ms Castley said.

“Not only have Canberrans been told to stay away from ED unless absolutely necessary but ED staff are approaching patients and suggesting they go home.”

Recent Estimates hearings revealed only 14,031 elective surgeries had been done compared to the government’s target of 14,800.

The government is also reducing from 500 to 340 the number of joint replacement surgeries despite hundreds of people being on the waiting list.

“It is no surprise the government is falling way short of its own ED and elective surgery targets when it has been underfunding our health system for years and burnt out staff are leaving in droves,” Ms Castley concluded.