Posted by Jim on August 5, 2010
The restoration of funding for joint surgery by the Queensland Government is a welcome announcement, said Dr Jim McDonald, the Greens candidate for Wide Bay. He was commenting on a report in yesterday’s Sunshine Coast Daily [that the Queensland Government had allocated $1 million to the hospital for joint surgery].
“However,” he said, “The fact that funding had not been available for a year and a half illustrates that the health system urgently needs reform to adequately service the region. Noosa needs a better arrangement than stop-and-go funding of medical procedures for public patients.
“The Federal Government’s takeover of health was announced by the former Prime Minister, Mr Rudd, with great fanfare, but it was short on details. One decent reform measure would be to review the conditions that are presently listed as elective surgery. The definitions of what is ‘elective’ hide the true nature of waiting lists – the real suffering of public health patients.
“Joint surgery should not be regarded as elective. It can be extremely painful and when it is, it severely affects the patient’s quality of life in the degree of pain experienced and their mobility. If the patient with joint pain is working, it will affect an employee’s productivity. There are, therefore, other hidden economic costs in the failure to adequately and consistently fund the procedures.”
Dr McDonald said that he had had hip replacement surgery at Noosa Hospital 22 months ago. “The pain was excruciating at times and I was hobbling around like an old man before the operation. If they experience the effects that I did, then public patients on the Noosa waiting list have been put through hell for the past 18 months.
“If I am elected I will be urging the removal of joint replacement surgery from the list of conditions for elective surgery and ongoing funding for the necessary joint surgery program at Noosa Hospital.”
Media Release, 4 August 2010by