Elective surgery activity

After a specialist clinical assessment, the treating doctor places the patient on an elective surgery waiting list.

This section presents information on additions, removals and admissions to public hospital elective surgery waiting lists in 2019–20 and changes between 2015–16 and 2019–20.

Information is also presented by:

  • Indigenous status
  • type of hospital (peer group)

This section presents information on waiting list activity, including:

  • Number of additions to waiting lists
  • Number of removals from waiting lists
  • Number of admissions from waiting lists

Impact of COVID-19 on admissions from elective surgery waiting lists in 2019–20 

Following a decision by National Cabinet, in the context of ensuring the health system maintained adequate capacity to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions were applied to selected elective surgeries from 26 March 2020.

Under these restrictions, only Category 1 and exceptional Category 2 procedures could be undertaken. These restrictions were eased (but not fully lifted) from 29 April 2020, allowing all Category 2 and some important Category 3 procedures to be performed. 

These restrictions led to an overall decrease in admissions from elective surgery waiting lists of 9.2% between 2018–19 and 2019–20 and impacted waiting times for elective surgery.