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Elective surgery boost to treat additional patients.

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The Hon Nicola Roxon MP Australian Government Minister for Health and Ageing

The Hon John Brumby Victorian Government Premier


14 March 2008 NR08/35

Elective surgery boost to treat additional patients

More than 5800 extra patients will receive their elective surgery at Victorian hospitals over the next three months as a result of the first stage of the joint Federal and Victorian Governments’ $60 million elective surgery blitz, Premier John Brumby and Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced today.

Nearly $38 million of the joint $60 million blitz announced earlier this year has already been allocated to Victorian hospitals.

Mr Brumby said the joint $60 million blitz would provide elective surgery to more than 9400 additional Victorians this year and help hospitals increase their elective surgery capacity through capital works and equipment improvements.

“Since 1999 we have treated more than one million elective surgery patients and this year we were on track to treat around 130,000 elective surgery patients, 15,000 more than in 1999,” Mr Brumby said.

“This joint blitz will boost that capacity from 130,000 to enable around 140,000 Victorians to undergo their surgery and is expected to halve the number of long-wait patients in Victoria by the end of the year.”

Mr Brumby, Ms Roxon and Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews today visited the Western Hospital’s new 20-bed elective surgery ward at Footscray.

Ms Roxon said the blitz was one of the most tangible results of a new cooperation between the Commonwealth and states and territories to improve Australia’s health system.

“Thousands of extra long-wait Victorian patients will get the surgery they need for painful and debilitating conditions thanks to the first stage of this joint initiative,” Ms Roxon said.

“And things will only get better with the remaining $22 million of the blitz to treat thousands more Victorians in the second half of this year.”

Mr Andrews said more than 860 extra patients would receive their elective surgery at the Western and Sunshine hospitals over the next three months, thanks to Western Health’s $4.46 million allocation as part of the blitz.

“Other big winners among the hospitals as part of the blitz include Southern Health, which will receive $5.66 million for operations on 1215 extra patients over the next three months; Austin Health, with $1.86 million for an extra 630 patients; and Eastern Health, with $1.47 million for an extra 430 patients.

“Of the country hospitals, Bendigo Health will receive $1.69 million for an extra 246 patients; Goulburn Valley Health will receive $870,000 for an extra 179 patients; and the West Gippsland Healthcare Group will get $490,000 for an extra 168 patients.”

Media contact: Sean Kelly 0417 108 362 or Tim Pigot 0419 817098

Breakdown of Stage 1 (up to 30 June 2008) of joint elective surgery blitz

Total for Commonwealth and State Funding

Health Service

Additional patients treated Total $M

State Funding Equip & Minor Works Total


Royal Children's Hospital 55 0.39 0.39 0.79

Southern Health 1215 5.66 2.44 8.10

St Vincent's Health 271 1.72 0.84 2.56

Austin Health 630 1.86 1.06 2.92

Western Health 868 4.46 0.73 5.18

RVEEH 127 0.33 0.33

Melbourne Health 335 2.61 0.71 3.32

Eastern Health 430 1.47 0.58 2.05

Peninsula Health 295 0.68 0.40 1.08

Bayside Health 244 1.71 0.55 2.25

Northern Health 0.54 0.54

Metro Health Services 4470 20.87 8.24 29.11

Barwon Health 50 0.36 0.89 1.25

Goulburn Valley Health 179 0.87 0.13 1.00

Bendigo Health 246 1.69 0.41 2.10

Latrobe Regional Hospital 106 0.36 0.40 0.76

Ballarat Health Services 81 0.39 0.23 0.62

West Gippsland Healthcare Group 168 0.49 0.18 0.67

Northeast Health Wangaratta 35 0.50 0.32 0.81

Regional and sub-regional Health Services 865 4.65 2.56 7.21

Private Patient Initiative (PPI) 470 1.58 1.58

Total Allocated 5805 27.11 10.80 37.91