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Alarming figures reveal WA’s elective surgery blowout

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Elective surgery waiting times have blown out across WA — despite the State’s largely COVID free status — with one in 20 patients now forced to wait longer than a year for their operation.

The biggest bottleneck and longest delays are for ear, nose throat, head and neck surgeries, with one-quarter of patients requiring those procedures forced to wait more than a year.

The average waiting time – or “days waited at the 50th percentile” – for those surgeries doubled to 167 days.

There were also big increases to average waiting times for general surgery (up 57 per cent to 44 days), gynaecology surgery (up 52 per cent to 50 days), ophthalmology (up 45 per cent to 68 days), orthopaedic (up 47 per cent to 85 days) and paediatric surgery (up 52 per cent to 70 days).

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The figures, compiled by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and released on Tuesday, lay bare the struggles of WA’s overburdened hospital system.

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