18 February 2019

Waiting times will be dramatically reduced for children who need surgery under a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, with a commitment to deliver 8000 additional paediatric operations.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the $45 million investment will strengthen the State’s on-time paediatric surgery performance, which sits at 97 per cent – its highest level ever.

“No other NSW Government has ever invested as much in health and one of the benefits is the dramatic improvement in on-time paediatric specialist surgery times,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Our healthcare system is already world-class and this investment will do even more to help get children in and out of hospital quickly, easing the burden on parents and carers.”

The funding will employ an additional 10 doctors and 25 nurses in the public system to deliver on this commitment, as well as utilising spare capacity in private hospitals. In NSW, 97 per cent of paediatric specialist surgery is performed on time compared to 86 per cent under Labor.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said NSW already has the best on-time elective surgery rates in Australia but this funding will ensure children needing minor operations are back at home with their families even faster.

“We want to remove any obstacles to a child’s social and learning development and get them back home as quick as we can. Surgeries to remove tonsils, grommets and adenoids which are usually classified as semi and non-urgent, can also help kids overcome educational and behavioural issues, so this initiative gets a gold star,” Mr Hazzard said.

The investment is expected to reduce the time taken to receive non-urgent elective surgeries by around three months, and halve the time taken to receive semi-urgent elective surgeries. Urgent elective surgeries are already delivered as soon as possible.

In 2018-19, the NSW Government is investing a record $25 billion in health, a $1.1 billion increase over the 2017-18 Budget.​​​