Delivering a Healthy WA
Elective Surgery  

What is elective surgery?

Elective surgery is a term used for non-emergency surgery which is medically necessary, but which can be delayed for at least 24 hours.

Elective surgery procedures are categorised by a medical specialist. Patients with the most urgent medical need (Category 1 urgent) will be scheduled for surgery first.

» Find out more about elective surgery

Elective Surgery and Outpatient Reporting

This page provides access to statistical information about the following areas of Western Australian public hospital system activity:

  • elective surgery waiting lists (ESWLs)
  • the Ambulatory Surgery Initiative (ASI)
  • activity at outpatient clinics
  • referrals at outpatient surgical clinics

The approach is to provide at least regional level summary information wherever possible broken down by broad subject areas, such as indicator procedure and specialty. Because of small cell sizes in some tables in reports, whilst data is presented for individual teaching hospitals in the Perth metropolitan area, it has not been possible to provide hospital level information for the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) due to the necessity to maintain both patient and practitioner confidentiality.

Reports concerned with elective surgery provide information about the number of cases registered on wait lists, the length of time people have been on these lists, the category of severity and the number of admissions to hospitals for surgery from the ESWLs.

There has been a recent expansion of quarterly reporting concerning ESWLs (from the beginning of 2008) and outpatient activity (from the beginning of 2007), which has increased the range and level of detail of information about these two areas.

In addition to the development of quarterly reporting, aggregate monthly data about waiting lists and admissions for elective surgery is available for the metropolitan area and WACHS from July 2006.