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Medical Specialists in Melbourne Help Reduce Hospital Waiting Lists for Surgical Patients


VICTORIA, Australia September 2014 – Patients waiting for appointments with medical specialists in Melbourne or surgical procedures in Australia continue to suffer on long hospital waiting lists – a reality that could prove fatal if left unchecked by the government. Victorians are being forced to wait as long as four years for an appointment to be treated as a hospital outpatient. A Bendigo health patient was forced to wait 1,493 days for an ear, nose and throat appointment, whilst a patient at Royal Melbourne Hospital had to wait 1,204 days for a neurology outpatient appointment.

In a snapshot, data seen by Melbourne newspaper The Age shows the average wait for a new outpatient appointment at Royal Children’s Hospital to be 275 days. At Monash Medical Centre in Clayton patients waited almost 1000 days for orthopaedic and urology care. The average wait for a new or first appointment at Geelong Hospital was 230 days. This unhealthy waiting trend has consistently grown in Victoria by a quarter in the past decade.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victoria President Harry Hemley said the Australian government expected non-urgent elective surgery to be performed within 365 days. He said as a result, being placed on hospital waiting lists for longer than a year was unacceptable. “Patients waiting for surgery often suffer from pain and disability, and have a reduced quality of life,” Dr. Hemley said. “Long waits for care inevitably increase the risk of complications and poorer outcomes.”

Director of I Need A Specialist (INAS), Darren Lemin recognises the need for patients to connect with specialist doctors in their region, especially those living in regional towns and remote areas.  “Health is our number one priority. We offer patients a real choice and peace of mind when selecting a healthcare specialist for themselves and their families.”

INAS is a free service that helps patients find specialist doctors in their area, and allows them to request an appointment any time of day or night, quickly and easily. The company helps many Australian general practitioners (GP) and patients to connect with the right specialist doctors, ensuring the best possible care in the shortest time frame and avoiding lengthy hospital waiting lists.

Darren says, “We hope to help people realise that they don’t have to wait to see a specialist that their GP has chosen, and that they do have a choice of who looks after them. Many patients without private health insurance aren’t aware they can make an appointment to see a private healthcare specialist. Instead they sit on a hospital waiting list for years just to be seen. For instance, you can wait 18 months for an appointment to have your knee looked at in a public hospital.

“People are relying more on the power of choice, which leads them to perform internet searches or ask others about their health advice. Many families these days don’t have a family doctor and opt to attend a super bulk-billing clinics or a one off doctor.  Some of our appointments stem from people on social media asking for advice on specialist recommendations, and getting referrals from our existing customers.”

Since I Need A Specialist started, the waiting time for patients to book appointments with medical specialists has been up to two weeks. A lot of the patients who contact I Need A Specialist had already been waiting an average of three to six months for their GP referred appointment with a specialist doctor.

Discover how I Need A Specialist can help reduce the time spent waiting to see medical specialists in Melbourne and Australia-wide at


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