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Surgery cancellations in Queens land Hospital

The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital is all set to cancel several hundred operations over the next three months, with the cancellations //of elective surgeries beginning yesterday.

According to a leaked memorandum, this would mean that up to 1800 patients would be unable to have a surgery in a three-month period.

The Acting General Manager of the Central Area Health Service, Terry Mehan, underplayed the importance of the memo, commenting, "What’s occurred over the last three months because of nursing shortages, is that there’s been an average of two-three lists cancelled per day, so we’re not losing the capacity in terms of the cancellations because they’ve already been happening”.

"What we’re trying to do is by reducing the planned list is to reduce the amount of cancellations we have at short notice. When we have patients booked in and we can’t staff the list, you might have a cancellation in about 24 hours notice. What we’re saying now, is we’re going to book the amount of elective lists we have staff for to reduce the amount of cancellations," he added.

Mr Mehan blamed the increased number of emergency surgeries for the cancellations. The leaked memo points to a shortage of staff, such as nurses and technicians, as being the reason for the cancellations and according to Mr. Mehan, that's a problem that Queens land Health is trying to overcome.

However, Bruce Flegg, Opposition Health Spokesperson, insists that the cancellations are a disaster. "Currently the Royal Brisbane has 6000 people waiting for elective surgery... this memo cancels 1800 of these 6000 people. It’s a disaster for the patients – it may well mean that some of these people will even lose their lives”

"It’s also a disaster for doctors,” he continued "because we’re talking here now about orthopedic surgery, vascular sugery, neurosurgery, ear, nose and throat surgery – much of this is done by visiting specialists... t
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