Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has pledged to drastically reduce hospital waiting times for essential surgeries needed by Australian patients. Declaring procedures such as knee and hip replacements or cataract surgeries should not be deemed elective but considered essential surgeries.
Data collected by the Australian Government’s biennial report, Australia’s health 2018, showed the medium wait times for cataract surgery at 85 days and medium wait times for knee replacements at 193 days.
Labor has stated that the average wait time for elective surgery has increased by more than 10 per cent since the Government was elected in 2013.
The report has also emphasised the wait times for Indigenous-Australians’ cataract surgery at 130 days and knee replacement at 251 days. Overall Indigenous-Australia’s have longer median waiting times than other Australians for elective surgery with 45 days compared to 38 days.