Mrs Armitage (Launceston) to the Honourable Leader of Government in the Legislative Council, Dr Vanessa Goodwin -
1. With regard to an answer previously provided that on the endoscopy waitlist for the Tasmanian Health Service as at 17 October 2016 that 1471 Category 1 patients were over boundary with a median wait time of 70 days, that is Category 1 - patients who should be seen within 30 days, can the Leader please advise whether referring doctors have been informed that their patients have not been seen within the 30 days and are over boundary. If not, why not?
2. Have General Practitioners and other referring doctors been advised of the over boundary situation within this health area to allow patients to make other arrangements if possible. If so, how and by whom, and if not, why not?
Answer from Dr Goodwin -
1. When a patient is added to the waiting list the referring doctor is informed of the clinically recommended time for the procedure to be performed.
It is standard practice to note this on a patient's medical record, and when reviewing this record the referring doctor would be aware of whether or not the patient remains within this timeframe.
2. The Tasmanian Health Service is working to establish clear guidance for patients and General Practitioners to ensure they are informed of the waiting time for diagnostic procedures.
This includes work to publicise the current waiting times by category for endoscopy on the Outpatient Website www.outpatients.tas.gov.au