PEAK PERFORMANCE: Patients treated at the Rockhampton Hospital in September have risen by 13.3 per cent compared to the same time last year
PEAK PERFORMANCE: Patients treated at the Rockhampton Hospital in September have risen by 13.3 per cent compared to the same time last year

‘Grubby’ use of hospital statistics to ‘confuse public’

THE number of Rockhampton residents in need of elective surgery was labelled as a "blowout" by LNP health spokeswoman Ros Bates despite the increasing number of patients treated.

Patients treated at the Rockhampton Hospital in September rose by 13.3 per cent compared with the same time last year.

A total of 64 more people received surgery in September than February 2015 when the LNP was in government.

Ms Bates and Capricornia Federal MP Michelle Landry called a press conference on Tuesday morning to criticise Rockhampton Hospital's elective surgery performance.

"Here in Rockhampton we have seen a 64.4 per cent blowout in wait times for elective surgery," Ms Bates said.

"1800 people in Rockhampton are waiting to have their surgery at longer than recommended times."

While 716 more people needed surgery in Rockhampton than in 2015, her claims of wait times were incorrect with 99.8 per cent of people treated within the clinically recommended time in September.

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said the use of statistics was an attempt to confuse the public.

"Nothing surprises me with the LNP government - the amount of times I've seen figures that are totally misrepresented," Mr O'Rourke said.

A total of 1827 people were waiting for surgery in September and all but one patient was treated within clinically recommended times.

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and State Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Ros Bates.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and State Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Ros Bates.

"We are meeting the demand … we have a growing population here," he said.

In September, 10.9 per cent more Category 1 patients were treated in Rockhampton Hospital and 43.1 per cent more Category 2 patients were treated than the same time last year.

Category 1 patients are recommended to be treated within 30 days and are categorised as the most severe, followed by Category 2 on 90 days and Category 3 with 365 days.

The only decrease in the number of patients treated was in Category 3 with 6.6 per cent fewer patients being treated in September than last year.

Category 3 conditions are defined to cause minimal or no pain, dysfunction or disability, which is unlikely to get worse quickly and do not have the potential to become an emergency.

Ms Landry joined in the criticism of the State Government saying they were to blame for natural and man-made "disasters".

"Whatever they touch ends up being a total disaster, be it hospitals, the bushfires, the road projects right across Queensland," Ms Landry.

Mr O'Rourke commended Queensland firefighters on their efforts and said he wouldn't get involved in "playing games".

"I suppose it's under 12 months until the next state election, politics can get a bit grubby, it's just a bit of mud slinging just trying to score points," Mr O'Rourke said.

LNP were approached to comment on their misuse of statistics but they failed to address the question and chose to criticise Labor for unrelated health department matters instead.


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