AustraliaMum slams waiting list times as daughter must wait years for surgery
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A Perth mother is calling on the State Government to address WA's waitlist crisis after learning her daughter could be made to wait years for simple ear surgery.
Madison fears her 19-month-old daughter Scarlett's eardrum will burst and leave her with permanent deafness if it remains untreated.
But a doctor told the family it could take more than a year for a consultation, and up to 18 months for the procedure as a public patient.
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"It actually hurts me every single day to see her suffering, knowing if I had the money she would be done in an instant," Madison said.
On a private healthcare waiting list, she would only have to wait two weeks for the operation.
According to the Health Department, 1,325 young patients were waiting for ear, nose or throat surgery at Perth Children's Hospital at the end of May.
1,149 of those were in the least urgent category, with the median waiting time sitting at 177 days.
Australian Medical Association WA President Dr Omar Khorshid said existing waiting times are unacceptable.
"The reality is it can take years to see a specialist doctor on referral from one of our public hospitals and especially when it comes to kids it's just not acceptable, he said."
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WA Health Minister Roger Cook said only 53 patients on the priority three waitlist had been waiting for longer than the clinically recommended period of 365 days.
"95% of all patients get seen within the clinically required period of time," he said.
"I don't decide which patient falls within each category but obviously it's important that we meet the needs of the patients."
In an act of desperation Madison took out private health insurance she couldn't afford, to fast-track Scarlett's operation.
But she will still have to face a 12 month mandatory waiting period because the condition is pre-existing.
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