Auditor General Requested for an Audit of Surgery Waiting List

Auditor General Requested for an Audit of Surgery Waiting List

The Legislative Assembly has asked the Auditor General, Mrs Tu Pham for an audit of the waiting list of patients for elective surgery and medical treatment in Canberra Public Hospital.

According to Mrs. Pham there are reasons for serious concerns about patients who had been waiting for elective surgery. It had degraded patients from one urgency category to another with providing clinical reasons for the action.

Mrs. Pham said recently, "Current practices in compiling the waiting lists have compromised the policy intention of promoting clinically appropriate, consistent and equitable management of elective surgery waiting lists."

She specifically pointed out that downgrades of patients' urgency category raised serious doubts about the accountability and appropriateness of the clinical classifications for patients on the waiting lists. She also mentioned that these happened without proper documents of clinical reasons.

The Canberra Times revealed the case of 75-year-old cancer patient, Allan McFarlane who had been waiting for an urgent elective surgery for more than a year. This led the performance audit form the Department.

However, the elective surgery waiting lists are administered very properly within a sound framework of policies, guidelines, and procedures which are administered by the ACT. Mrs. Pham's report also found that the strategies that have been implemented by the ACT Health are not sufficient to address the increase demand. It cannot even cut short the length of the waiting list.

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