Experts in the Media

Jane Griffiths

9 News

Day surgeries offer relief for struggling WA public health sector.

From today, half of all public hospital elective surgeries will be postponed for at least one month, with WA’s entire health system under intense pressure.
But facilities like the Sun Dew Day Surgery in Joondalup say they are only operating at 40 per cent capacity and would be willing to negotiate using their theatres to help ease the public sector’s workload.
“On an average day they would have probably three vacant bays because they just don’t have the work – from what I’m hearing from the team here they probably have a busy day once a week or so,” Day Hospitals Australia CEO Jane Griffiths told 9News.
“They have two theatres and a procedural room, so they have huge capacity to assist.
“It’s very frustrating when we hear surgeries are being cancelled when there’s space in this sector.”
In the past year, there have been 111 code yellows at WA hospitals, due to there not being enough beds available and no staff.
“We have a health workforce which is overworked, we have code yellow internal emergencies every three or four days because of lack of capacity,” opposition spokesperson Libby Mettam told 9News.
But day hospitals want to help, reaching out to offer their services and space to the under-pressure public sector.
Sixty per cent of elective surgeries across the country are performed in private hospitals, which day hospitals say could be a much cheaper operation.
Health Minister Roger Cook’s office says whether WA chooses to use them for public patients is a matter for the department.
9News has reached out to the department for comment.