Surgical waiting lists in Victorian hospitals. The Standards Sub-Committee of the Victorian State Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Med J Aust. 1991 Mar 4;154(5):326-8.


A study was conducted on a randomised sample (2006) of patients on waiting lists for surgery in Victorian public hospitals with the largest lists. Information was obtained from the hospitals' waiting lists, patients were interviewed and surgeons' opinions sought on particular patients. The results indicated that the waiting lists were inaccurate, with approximately one in five patients inappropriately included on the lists. The remaining 80% of patients, however, were genuinely in need of surgery. Twenty per cent of arranged admissions did not eventuate, the main reasons for this being failure of the patient to attend or a shortage of surgical beds. Of 206 patients interviewed, 56 considered that their condition had deteriorated whilst on the waiting list and this was verified by surgeons in 29 cases, that is, in 14% of all patients interviewed. The study suggests that the provision of surgical services in Victorian public hospitals is not satisfactory, waiting lists require regular administrative and clinical review, efforts to reduce the waiting lists should continue and the need for an increased number of surgical beds is a matter of urgency. There is also a need for some hospitals to improve their "call for admission" practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • General Surgery*
  • Hospital Administration
  • Hospital Records
  • Hospitals, Public* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Victoria / epidemiology
  • Waiting Lists*