Labor’s failure to implement the LNP’s surgery wait time guarantee has cost 213 Queenslanders their right to surgery on time.

Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle has panned Labor’s stewardship of the sensitive health portfolio, which has undone years of LNP gains after just two months.

“Monthly statistics for surgery have revealed the number of Queensland patients waiting beyond accepted clinical times this year had more than doubled – from 102 in January to 213 in March,” Mr McArdle said.

“Longer waits should not be acceptable in a modern health system.

“When Labor left office in 2012, we saw up to 6500 Queenslanders waiting too long.

“That’s why the LNP Government worked hard to get our health system back on track, to a wait time guarantee and zero long-waits.

“Now we’re going back to the bad of days to a Labor-run health system, where patients are waiting longer.”

Mr McArdle said the LNP surgery guarantee, which was to apply from February 1, meant that alternative treatment (in another public or private hospital) would have been available for any patient reaching the end of the clinically-recommended waiting period.

“Dismissing the guarantee as a gimmick, as Labor has done, means that already 213 Queenslanders are being denied their right to treatment on time,” he said.

“This means that at Redcliffe Hospital, 16 patients are waiting too long for treatment, when that surgery would have been completed under the wait-time guarantee.” 

Mr McArdle said another serious concern was Labor’s failure to update vital quarterly statistics about the performance of Queensland Hospitals.

“Under the LNP, people across the State had open access to health performance data, online and in local newspapers,” he said.

“Already under Labor, we see important health statistics for emergency departments, long wait patients, surgery performance and specialist outpatient’s clinics more than six months out of date.

“The health performance website, which continues to show data from the September quarter, is no joke. What is Cameron Dick trying to hide?

“It is an insult to all Queenslanders who are entitled to accurate and up to date information on the performance of their health system.”