Elective surgery demand keeps local surgeons busy.
Elective surgery demand keeps local surgeons busy. Johnny Greig

How long you'll wait for surgery at Gladstone hospitals

GLADSTONE and Biloela residents needing general surgery are more likely to wait beyond the clinically recommended timeframe than those needing other elective operations.

A NewsRegional analysis of Queensland Health elective surgery data shows Gladstone Hospital performed 878 elective surgeries for general, gynaecology and orthopedic problems in the 12 months to March 31.

At 709 operations, general surgery was the most common category and also the only one where a small number of patients waited longer than they should have.

In Biloela, each of the six gynaecology patients had their surgery on time but up to 20 per cent of the 49 general surgery patients did not go under the knife when they should have.   

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service chief executive Steve Williamson said the successful delivery of surgical services was "complex and challenging" and the organisation was constantly trying to find ways to improve outcomes.

"Elective surgery categorisation ensures those with the greatest need are treated first, but many factors have an impact on the delivery, including demand, the number of emergency surgeries required as a priority, the availability of specialist surgeons and specialist support staff, as well as capacity across the broader hospital for admission post-surgery," Mr Williamson said.

"We undertake plenty of planning to ensure our service can match expected demands.

"Our long-term strategic planning document Destination 2030: Great Care for Central Queenslanders highlights our commitment to provide surgical services safely as close to home as possible for our patients.

"This includes planning to expand surgical services in Emerald, Gladstone and Biloela, supported by Rockhampton for general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology and orthopedics."

Mr Williamson said CQ Health was also working on recruiting and retaining skilled and specialised staff to ensure the service kept up with future demand.


Demand on our hospital emergency department continues to grow.
Demand on our hospital emergency department continues to grow. MJFelt

Pressure on our emergency departments

GLADSTONE residents are waiting up to 12 minutes in the emergency department before receiving medical attention.

Queensland Health data for May shows there were 2580 emergency department presentations at Gladstone hospital.

About 87 per cent of patients were treated within the recommended timeframe.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service chief executive Steve Williamson said all category one patients - the sickest and most seriously injured - were treated within two minutes of arrival, which is within the clinically recommended timeframe.

"During busy periods patients with less urgent conditions may have to wait to be seen while seriously ill people are receiving their care," Mr Williamson said.

"There are peaks and troughs of activity, but our ED staff are well trained to work through those and ensure demand is met.

"We have more specialist emergency doctors on staff in Gladstone than ever before and this enables our teams to provide sustainable and consistent care.

"Planning is well under way for a new Emergency Department at Gladstone Hospital, which will provide an even better environment for our staff to deliver their care, and for our patients." - NewsRegional


Statistics for Gladstone Hospital

Median emergency department wait in May, 2018: Nine minutes.

Emergency department presentations in May, 2018: 2580

Number of elective surgery operations in the 12 months to March 31: 878

Source: Queensland Health