Elective surgery initiative to help ease waiting lists

THE Competitive Elective Surgery Initiative is helping ease the pressure on hospital waiting lists.

Bendigo Health's executive director of nursing and surgical services Peter Faulkner said the organisation worked with Echuca Regional Health Services and Bendigo Day Surgery to make a bid for additional procedural work this financial year.

"We're very pleased that they were successful in their bids," he said.

"It means an additional 300 patients will get their elective surgery earlier than would have otherwise been the case."

Bendigo Health chief executive John Mulder said the 300 patients were people waiting for care within the Bendigo Health group.

"It's care that would not have been possible without that arrangement," he said.

"What it reflects is our need to work with our regional partners to use every bit of capacity regionally because clearly our facility is not large enough to cope with the demand we currently have."

Bendigo Health this week called on the community to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

The call comes in response to what chief executive officer John Mulder has described as an "unprecedented" demand for services.

Mr Mulder said hospital admissions in the year to date were up by about 7.5 per cent compared with this time last year.

"Even with enormous pressures on our health service, with the partnership arrangements we have in place, we've been able to keep our waiting list under 1000 which compares favourably with other regional centres," Mr Mulder said.

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