Victorian providers selected to slash surgery lists

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Epworth HealthCare and Healthscope Operations have been selected on a panel of elective surgery providers to reduce waiting lists in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government called for tenders as part of its bid to deal with long elective surgery waiting lists.

Melbourne-based providers Epworth and Healthscope join Calvary Health Care, Hobart Day Surgery and Health Care Burnie on the panel that can bid to perform the surgeries.

The surgery providers will perform up to $25 million of taxpayer-funded elective surgeries.

The Health Department will negotiate with the suppliers to determine which surgeries are conducted by each provider and at what cost.

Acting Health Minister Rene Hidding said the government’s aim was clear.

“What we’re after is the best surgeons to drive down this waiting list,” Mr Hidding said.

“The panel represents a broad range of surgical expertise and provides a mix of both Tasmanian and Victorian providers.”

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In addition to funding the surgeries, the government said it will cover the costs of patients needing to be flown to and accommodated in Melbourne for certain procedures.

It is not clear how many surgeries the funding will provide.

“It’s not wise to make it numbers driven, that would lead the system into going for the easy surgeries,” Mr Hidding said.

“This will be driven by the clinical needs of the patients on the waiting list.”

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