Question - Endoscopy Clinic - Supplementary

Mrs Armitage (Launceston) to the Honourable Leader of Government, Dr Vanessa Goodwin -

1. To the question I asked last week with regard to gastroenterology in our hospital system whether referring doctors have been informed that their patients have not been seen within the clinically recommended time the answer provided was that the referring doctor is informed of the clinically recommended time for the procedure to be performed.

My question that remains unanswered is whether referring doctors, including doctors not working within the hospital system, are advised that their patients have not been seen within the clinically recommended time and are over boundary, in many cases over double the recommended time, and if not, why not.

2. I note the THS is working to establish clear guidelines for patients and General Practitioners to ensure they are informed of the waiting time for diagnostic procedures and that they publicise the current waiting times by category for endoscopy on the Outpatient Website http://outpatients.tas.gov.au/ however I further note that website is for the Royal Hobart Hospital only.

Can the Leader please advise when there will be an outpatient website for the Launceston General Hospital and North West Regional Hospital?

Answer from Dr Goodwin -

1. As per the previous answer, I am advised that the referring doctor is routinely informed of the clinically recommended waiting time for the procedure when a patient is first added to the waiting list.

As with all services that use a waiting list, a further notification is not routinely provided at the point a patient becomes over-boundary. However, the referring doctor is provided with the the date the patient was added and the clinically recommended waiting time.

This points to the need to move toward greater consistency across the system. As part of the One Health System reforms, the Tasmanian Health Service is working to standardise referral procedures and the issue of letters to referring doctors across the state. Work is underway to add relevant Outpatient waiting times for the North and North West to the Outpatient waiting list website.

Once this occurs, patient referral letters will also reference these waiting times.

2. The website was an innovation commenced by the Royal Hobart Hospital. It is anticipated that the project to include other locations across the state will be completed in 2017.

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