Labor Slammed for Cutting Wait Time Guarantee

Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar has slammed Labor’s move on Tuesday to axe the LNP’s hugely successful Wait Time Guarantee.

Mr Millar said Health Minister Cameron Dick was playing politics with patient wellbeing and urged him to reverse his decision

“The results are in – more Queensland patients are getting elective surgery on time thanks to the LNP’s Wait Time Guarantee,” he said.

“In February, the first month of the Wait Time Guarantee, Gregory’s hospitals posted outstanding results. For example, at Emerald Hospital 100 per cent of patients received their surgery on time across all categories – urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent.

“Because Gregory’s patients usually travel for surgery, the results for Queensland as whole are also of relevance to us. These figures show 100 per cent of urgent patients were seen on time and 99 percent of semi-urgent patients received their surgery on time. This is a far cry from the situation when the LNP took over a broken and busted health system,” said Mr Millar.

“It just doesn’t make any sense. Why does Labor want to scrap Australia’s first surgery guarantee, especially when it is already delivering for patients?”

Australia’s first elective surgery guarantee, modelled on the health systems of Scandinavia, started on 1 February this year.

Under this initiative if Hospitals and Health Services can’t provide treatment within the medically recommended time, patients are offered the next available appointment in a public or private hospital in the state at no cost to the patient. 

“As the new member, I had already been told how much constituents welcomed the elective surgery guarantee and I hoped this was the answer to some of the appalling statistics on rural health outcomes, such as the higher rate of amputations for diabetic patients,” said Mr Millar.

Shadow Health Minister Mr McArdle urged Minister Dick to reverse his decision and put patients first by ensuring the Wait Time Guarantee continued.

“These results speak for themselves, the Wait Time Guarantee is working, patients are receiving necessary surgery on time,” he said. 

“The LNP dramatically reduced the number of patients waiting longer than medically recommended for their surgery and local families simply cannot afford to let Minister Dick take us back to the bad old days of the health system under Labor.”

Mr McArdle called on the government to stop listening to union bosses and start listening to doctors and their patients.

“Doctors and patients want the Wait Time Guarantee to continue so it beggars belief how the Health Minister could even dream of cutting it – especially without an alternative,” he said.

“Labor has no plan for the economy and no plan for surgery. They are making it up on the run.

“When the LNP was elected into office, we inherited a health system on life support thanks to Labor’s appalling mismanagement.

“In three short years we turned that around and took Queensland’s health system from the bottom of the pack to the best in Australia.

“Now Labor is taking us back down a familiar path. Queenslanders deserve better than hidden waiting lists, payroll bungles and Tahitian Princes.”