The State Government is providing an additional $2.05 million to the east and south metropolitan health regions to help cut elective surgery waiting lists.
Health Minister Ian Taylor said the money would allow an extra 850 surgical procedures to be performed and was the latest in a series of special funding allocations that would provide approximately 4,000 additional operations this financial year.
"Funding to the east metropolitan health region of $1.18 million will purchase an additional 650 operations in the areas of orthopaedics, ear, nose and throats (ENT) operations, plastic surgery and eye operations," Mr Taylor said.
"In the south metropolitan health region, the provision of $865,300 to Fremantle Hospital will allow an additional 180 hip and knee replacements and other orthopaedic procedures to be performed over the next seven months."
The announcement followed a special $10 million allocation for a major day-surgery unit and was part of the Government's plan to create the best public hospital service in the nation.
Mr Taylor made the announcement as he released the third and latest elective surgery bulletin, which details trends in hospital waiting lists and provides further information which assists doctors to refer patients to those hospitals with shorter waiting times for surgery.
The trends seem to indicate the Government's waiting list strategy is having a positive effect which included a slight drop in the overall number on the waiting list since the October bulletin with a fall in the number of patients on the general teaching hospital waiting lists for cardiothoracic, ENT and ophthalmology procedures.
Most importantly, there had also been a decline in the median waiting time for the number of specialties, including cardiothoracic, ENT and ophthalmology, which were being specifically targeted under the waiting list strategy.
Mr Taylor said the State Government had committed $34 million to the waiting list and hospital enhancement program, including $14 million to directly fund additional operations which would improve access for people waiting for elective surgery.