Smoke and mirrors – an ACT Health Department artform


http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/elective-surgery-waiting-lists-fall-in-the-act-20140501-zr2dy.html

I will eat my hat if even a dozen GPs in all of the ACT ever look at this site

http://health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=da&did=10079901&pid=1124234922&speciality=Orthopaedics&wt=true

Health bureaucrats, Dermatologists running the AMA branch or part-time GPs working for ACTML really have no clue what those of us at the coalface deal with.
Why would I spend time looking up waiting times on a waitinglist for specific specialist when I cannot even make the call that my patient should see a specialist in the first place?

The article below focuses on the actual surgical waiting times and conveniently ignores a few other factors:

  1. Many of the surgical departments does not allow you to refer to a specific doctor anyway
  2. Some departments, specifically Orthopaedics, will ignore everything I say in my referral letter – it does not matter if my letter is addressed to a Surgeon or if I have done a thorough and extensive workout prior to writing the letter. My letter gets reviewed by a Physiotherapist and the initial appointment, months later, is by a Physiotherapist. If the Physio does not agree with my assessment and recommendations my patient will never see an Orthopaedic surgeon in the public sector – my opinion is simply over-ruled
  3. If a patient actually get to have an appointment with a specialist colleague the waiting time can be anything from 6-30 months. Note this is just for the initial assessment – not a surgical waiting time.

 

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