Elective Surgery

Dr Phil Bagshaw writes:

It is claimed by the Minister of that we are doing more non-urgent operations each year. This is not a new achievement; it has been the case since records have been kept. 

This is not true. The number of elective discharges dropped in 2003 and 2006 compared to the year before. In 2003 (year to June) the drop was 1,57 and in 2006 it was 397.

What has not been reported, however, is that the rate of increase has been going down in most recent years and has not kept up with population changes.

This is also not true for the second part. The increase has been greater than population growth every year. In 2014/15 there was an increase of 5,171 discharges. This was a 3.2% increase. Population increased 1.9% so the number per 100 capita increased 1.3% from 3.59 to 3.64.

In this regard, we are therefore playing catch-up rugby and, in fact, are not catching up at all but are falling further behind.

Let’s compare the increases from 2002 to 2009 and 2009 to 2015.

  • 11,666 extra discharges vs 37,290 extra
  • An increase of 9.9% over seven years vs 28.7% over six years
  • Rate per 100 population increased 0.8% from 2002 to 2009 and 20.5% from 2009 to 2015


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