SURGERY waiting lists in Ballarat public health are expected to blowout by 17 per cent under new state funding deals made this week.
Ballarat Health Services refused to comment on the figures on Friday.
Instead, BHS referred The Courier to Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos' morning media briefing in which she said the figures came from annual priority agreements between the state and health services.
Analysis by News Corp found 40,754 Victorians would be expected to wait for elective surgeries at major Melbourne major hospitals in 2019/20, marking a 43 per cent increase from the previous year.
In Ballarat, the report found the number of people on the wait list is projected to climb to 1150, up 17 per cent - a rise higher than public hospitals in Geelong (10 per cent), Bendigo (10 per cent) and Warrnambool (6.8 per cent).
Elective surgery includes hip and knee replacements, cataract extractions and ligament repairs.
Minister Mikakos said an unprecedented "absolute horror" flu season had forced hospitals to bring forward emergency department spending.
The report suggested the government had funded health services statewide to perform 5.28 per cent fewer elective surgeries.
But Minister Mikakos said what mattered was not the number of people waiting for elective surgery, but how long they were waiting.
Victoria's medium wait time for elective surgery is a record low of 26 days. In Ballarat, the median wait was 24 days in the three months to November and 89 per cent of all elective surgery patients were treated within the benchmark times.
Buninyong MP Michaela Settle said Ballarat was performing better than the state average for elective surgeries and it was pleasing the latest performance data, released this month, showed Victorian patients were getting operations sooner than ever before.
"As a government we will always look to improve health services," Ms Settle said. "It is fantastic to see the Andrews government investing heavily in Ballarat Base Hospital as well as other health providers in our region such as Ballarat Community Health, Women's Health Grampians and (Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative's) new medical centre that the Premier opened two weeks ago."
"...I'm confident with the level of investment and focus from a Labor government we will continue to see further improvement."
Australian Medical Association's Victorian president Julian Rait said the idea Victorians were waiting less time for elective surgeries was "nonsense", pinning the waiting time forecasts on "poor budgetary decisions".
- with AAP
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