Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Palaszczuk Government to tackle long waits on Ear Nose and Throat

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Monday, May 04, 2015

    Palaszczuk Government to tackle long waits on Ear Nose and Throat

     The Palaszczuk Government will inject $30 million to address waiting lists for outpatient appointments for children and adults suffering from ear, nose and throat complaints.

    “Since coming to Government, we revealed there were 114,000 Queenslanders waiting longer than clinically recommended for a specialist outpatient appointments as at January 1, 2015,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “Around 14,000 of these Queenslanders have been waiting longer than clinically recommended for an outpatient appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.

    “This is Lawrence Springborg’s legacy. He left Queenslanders in the waiting room.

    “In March we announced $30 million to tackle the LNP’s hidden waiting lists across the State and now we are announcing a further $30 million to specifically target the Ear, Nose and Throat waiting lists.”

    Health Minister Cameron Dick said this was one of the first steps in tackling the outpatient long wait list.

    “An additional $30 million will be made available from existing resources over the next two years to ensure that long wait Ear, Nose and Throat patients receive their outpatient appointment and any required follow-up treatment by June 30, 2017,” Mr Dick said.

    “This money will help 14,000 Queenslanders waiting longer than clinically recommended for an Ear, Nose and Throat appointment – more than half of the ENT waiting list.

    “Of those 14,000, more than 4,500 ENT patients have waited more than two years.

    “We will take a genuine approach to tackling waiting lists, unlike the LNP.

    “I can’t change what happened in the past but there is enormous capacity for innovation in our health system and I intend to drive that innovation.”

    Mr Dick said that Hospital and Health Services will have the first opportunity to utilise this funding prior to any alternative provider being considered.

    “On the Logan Hospital ENT adult outpatient waiting list as at 1 January 2015, there were almost 2,600 Category Two patients waiting more than the clinically recommended time for an appointment – one person had waited for 853 days,” Mr Dick said.

    “And there is also a case of a Category Three patient waiting 2,869 days – that is just over seven-and-a-half years for an appointment.”

    Mr Dick said Logan Hospital was facing extraordinary demand for its ENT outpatient appointments.

    “This money will be allocated to hospitals around the state, but Logan Hospital will be one of the major beneficiaries,” Mr Dick said.

    Executive Director of Logan Bayside Health Network Brett Bricknell said demand for ENT specialist appointments at Logan Hospital substantially exceeds supply with almost three times the number of Category Two and Three adult and child specialist referrals received than it can see in one year.

    “The majority of these referrals don’t require surgery yet they face a substantial wait for an appointment,” Mr Bricknell said.

    “Logan Hospital is planning to introduce an innovative, multidisciplinary model clinic to address the ENT backlog.

    “The model establishes a clinic that will see specialists, audiologists, speech therapists and vestibular physiotherapy staff working together to ensure patients can receive the appropriate treatment much sooner.”

    ENT specialist, and Director of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery at Logan Hospital, Dr Bernard Whitfield, said the $30 million in funding for ENT waiting lists was fantastic news for adults and children with ENT problems throughout the state.

    “Our new model at Logan Hospital will provide a significant increase in clinic capacity and in a first for Australia, Logan Hospital will become a training hub for general practitioners to upskill in ENT conditions,” Dr Whitfield.

    “We have a shovel ready project that will dramatically increase the capacity in outpatients at Logan. With this development and a team approach, we should be able to quadruple output through outpatients.”

    Media contact:

    Premier’s office: 3719 7000

    Suellen Hinde: 3035 6117