Elective Surgery Performance

Specialist Clinics Waiting Times (Outpatient Department)

Before you are listed for elective surgery you will be referred to one of our specialist clinics (outpatients) for assessment. At this first assessment, a doctor will determine your need for surgery, and, if required, you will be referred to the Elective Surgery Wait List (ESWL) using the Department of Health Guidelines.

Below is a table that sets out the waiting time to your first appointment at one of our specialist clinics (Outpatients Department). Waiting times are sorted by category of urgency.

Specialist Clinics

Patients scheduled for surgery as at 15 August 2017

 1 - Urgent2 - Semi Urgent3 - Non UrgentTarget
Within scheduled time


573 791 1469
100% 96% 99% 98%
Beyond scheduled time 0 27


0% 5% 1% 2%
Total patients on list 105 600 796 1501


This table provides a snapshot of people who are scheduled for Elective Surgery. Each patient is given a category to determine when they should have their surgery. The definitions of these categories are set by the Department of Health and assigned to each patient by the Surgeon.

It is important to remember that the category given to a patient can change if their condition worsens. If this happens it is important that the patient visits their GP for reassessment and possible escalation. 

Please note that this data is unaudited and may not correlate directly with the data published on the Department of Health website page 'Victorian Health Services Performance'.

Average length of time to surgery as at 15 August 2017


1 - Urgent

(Less than 30 Days)

2 - Semi Urgent

(less than 90 days)

3 - Non Urgent

(less than 365 days)

  Average Days Number of patients Average Days Number of patients Average Days Number of patients
Vascular  11 3 25 37 113 8
Ear, Nose & Throat 9 5 39 104 139 171
Plastic Surgery 7 14 19 23 95 28
Gynaecology  11 8 36 76 204 63
Other  11 4 45 85 100 74
General Surgery  12 24 32 71 86 74
Orthopaedic   0 44 21 83 201
Urology 9 44 34 142 76 12
Ophthalmology 6 3 30 41 46 165

This table provides a high level view of the average number of days it takes to receive your surgery and the number of patients in each urgency category.

As this is an overview, it is important to remember that certain types of surgery have higher demands, and hence time to surgery can take longer whilst other surgeries may take less time.

From time to time we experience high demand for emergency surgery and emergency 'medical' related admissions to hospital; when this happens it has a direct impact on elective surgery waiting lists as resources are tied up meeting the emergency demand and may result in the postponement of some cases.  


Elective Surgery Categories by Urgency

The surgeon assigns elective surgery patients to one of three urgency categories based on their clinical judgment about their need for surgery.

Elective Surgery Urgency Category Definitions

Cat 1 Admission within 30 days desirable for a condition that has the potential to deteriorate quickly, to the point that it may become an emergency
Cat 2 Admission within 90 days desirable for a condition causing some pain, dysfunction or disability, but which is not likely to deteriorate quickly or become an emergency
Cat 3 Admission within 365 days for a condition causing minimal or no pain, dysfunction or disability, which is unlikely to deteriorate quickly and which does not have the potential to become an emergency
Traditional Owners

We, Barwon Health, acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the Elders both past and present.