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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Australian Medical Association (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon has said the Auditor General’s report on Operating Theatre Efficiency highlights a worrying misuse of funds in our public health sector.
According to the report tabled in State Parliament yesterday, thousands of hours of operating theatre time could be feasibly available to treat many more patients in WA’s public hospitals, ultimately saving the health sector significant amounts of money.
“The figures in the Auditor General’s report are worrying, and probably an underestimate of both the problem and the potential savings that could be achieved if operating theatre efficiency was improved,” Dr Gannon said.
“Too often, middle management clipboard holders start circling at 4.15 pm cancelling cases at great stress to patients and their families, when doctors and nurses at work are more than willing to work past 5pm.
“Multi-million dollar operating theatres lying fallow instead of paying a few dollars of overtime represents a massive waste of precious taxpayer’s money.
“There are potentially major savings that could be made in health spending with the better organisation and use of operating theatres at every hospital in WA.
“Rather than cutting thousands of jobs in order to cut the health budget, the Government and hospital management should be looking at operating theatre efficiency to curtail waste and reduce the impact job cuts will have on patients.
“This will not reduce patient care like the looming job cuts will, and is undoubtedly a better use of taxpayer funds,” Dr Gannon said.