Queensland best in the nation for elective surgery delivery

Published Friday, 05 April, 2024 at 10:06 AM

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • Queensland leads the nation when it comes to elective surgeries, despite demand continuing to increase.
  • The independent Productivity Commission Report on Government Services earlier this year found that almost nine in 10 Queensland elective surgery patients were seen in clinically recommended timeframe.
  • The number of elective surgery patients waiting longer than recommended has fallen by 43 per cent since the start of 2023.
  • More elective surgeries are being delivered than ever before, with a 6.4 per cent increase compared to pre-COVID levels.
  • Queensland Health welcomes the AMA Queensland roundtable and will continue to work with doctors to provide high-quality healthcare to the regions.

Queensland is leading the nation when it comes to elective surgery delivery, despite growing demand.

Data shows elective surgeries continue to increase across the state, jumping 6.4 per cent above pre-COVID levels in December 2023 and 4.8 per cent above the previous December quarter.

In the December Quarter, our hospitals delivered 1,674 more elective surgeries and 12,008 more initial specialist outpatient appointments than the same quarter in 2022 – the highest number delivered in a December Quarter in Queensland’s history.

This is despite a 3 per cent increase in the number of patient referrals.

Total long waits also dropped by an enormous 43 per cent from the beginning of 2023 to the end of the year.

Furthermore, more than 90 per cent of people ready for elective surgery are waiting within the clinically recommended timeframes.

It comes as the independent Report on Government Services earlier this year found Queensland performed better than all other states and territories when it comes to elective surgery – including that nine in 10 patients receive their surgery within clinically recommended timeframes.

This is all thanks to our hardworking frontline staff, who continue to care for Queenslanders and perform incredibly, despite growing demand and pressures.

Last year, the Queensland Labor government invested an additional $224 million to boost elective surgery and specialist outpatient capacity statewide. This will mean around 30,000 outpatients and 20,000 elective surgery patients will receive care sooner.

The Miles Government also welcomes the AMA Queensland’s proposal of a Surgical Wait List Roundtable to identify further solutions to reduce elective surgery waitlists.

The Government values the work of the AMA and looks forward to continuing to work to attract more doctors and specialists to our regional communities.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Shannon Fentiman:

“I am extremely grateful to our hardworking healthcare workers who continue to provide the best care for Queenslanders despite our hospitals being busier than ever before.

“The fact that Queensland has the best elective surgery delivery in the nation is a testament to our incredible frontline staff.

“These positive results show we are on the right track with our investments, but we know there is more to do.

“I welcome the AMA Queensland’s proposal to host a Surgical Wait List roundtable, and we will continue working with our frontline clinicians to find innovative solutions to get more doctors to our regional communities.

“We will always listen to the suggestions from our dedicated frontline staff to ensure we can continue to provide Queenslanders with high-quality healthcare, no matter where they live.”


Compared to the same quarter last year, the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service performed an additional 675 more surgeries.

The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service also saw an increase compared to the same period last year with almost 200 additional surgeries performed.

The Mackay Hospital and Health service continues to perform at a steady pace.

The Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service is seeing an upward trend in surgeries performed, with almost 100 more surgeries undertaken than the previous quarter.