EFFORTS to reduce Fiona Stanley Hospital’s (FSH) extensive surgical waitlists have made progress since some services were shifted to Fremantle Hospital but 20 per cent of people are still waiting too long.
The latest Department of Health figures showed that as of the end of March, 1565 people were on the elective surgery waitlist at FSH and 322 cases were considered ‘over boundary’ and outside the clinically recommended timeframes for their type of surgery.
This was an improvement from an over-boundary figure nudging 30 per cent last March.
At Fremantle Hospital (FH), 4.4 per cent of cases at the end of March this year were over boundary, compared with 5.75 per cent last March.
Across the FSH/FH Group, the number of over boundary cases fell by nearly a quarter from 525 to 394, using the year comparison.
In April last year, Melville Times revealed the group’s plans to shift some services to FH to ease phenomenal patient demand at FSH since its opening.
At the time, AMA WA president Andrew Miller said in hindsight the relocation of services from FH to FSH was a little heavy-handed.
FH became a 300-bed specialist hospital in 2015 when its tertiary services were moved to FSH.
Last month, a South Metropolitan Health Service spokeswoman said FH remained an important and integral part of delivering health services to people living in Perth’s southern corridor.
“It continues to be vital in supporting Fiona Stanley Hospital as the tertiary centre,” she said.
During the past 12 months, FH has expanded the range and volume of elective surgical procedures to include procedures in specialty areas of gynaecological, plastic, dental and maxillo-facial and increased endoscopy procedures.
The aged care service was also reconfigured to allow direct admission from FSH, reducing the age care outpatient waitlist from nine months to three months, also freeing up tertiary acute beds and services.
The aged care ward at FH was recently refurbished to become dementia and delirium friendly, to improve patient experience and care.
The spokeswoman said internal data not published online included non-reportable procedures, like gastroscopies, and showed the number of people waiting too long for their surgery had dropped by more than half when comparing February figures a year apart across the two hospitals.