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Hospital Performance: Cancer surgery waiting times in public hospitals in 2011–12

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Overview

Majority of surgeries for three malignant cancers occur within 30 days

This report compares waiting times for surgery to treat malignant breast, bowel or lung cancer in public hospitals across Australia. While most patients receive their surgery within 30 days, the reports shows that nationally there were 1,090 patients who waited longer.

Breast cancer patients were least prone to extended waits for their surgery.

Of the 7,436 patients treated at the 137 hospitals covered in the report for malignant breast cancer surgery, 417 patients (6%) waited longer than 30 days, and 101 patients (1%) waited longer than 45 days

Among major metropolitan hospitals, 39 of 44 hospitals performed at least 90% of breast cancer surgeries within 30 days.

Bowel cancer patients were more prone at some hospitals to lengthier waits for surgery.

Of the 4,345 patients treated at the 127 hospitals covered in this report for malignant bowel cancer surgery, 576 patients (13%) waited longer than 30 days, and 243 patients (6%) waited longer than 45 days

Across major metropolitan hospitals, 30 of 49 hospitals performed at least 90% of surgeries within 30 days.

Lung cancer patients were mostly treated promptly but could face longer waits at some hospitals.

Of the 918 patients treated at the 45 hospitals covered in this report for malignant lung cancer surgery, 97 patients (11%) waited longer than 30 days, and 38 (4%) waited longer than 45 days

Across major hospitals, 17 of 28 hospitals performed at least 90% of surgeries within 30 days.