Waiting list row brewing
QUEENSLAND’S Acti n g P r e m i e r P a u l Lucas has hit back at reports thousands of patients are waiting up to five years to see medical specialists before they can be added to the state’s surgery waiting list.
Nearly 200,000 people are on ‘‘ secret waiting lists’’ while they wait for a specialist appointment for up to five y e a r s , t h e C o u r i e r - Mai l newspaper has reported.
Mr L u c a s , t h e f o r me r health minister, said an increasing and ageing population were factors.
‘‘ Australia has the secondhighest life expectancy on earth . . . people get older . . . and that does provide even more challenges for us,’’ he said. ‘‘ Demand is ever increasing. Other states have the ability to bulk-bill far more of those to Medicare.
‘‘ We see about two million specialist outpatients appointments . . . per year.’’