Extra Elective Surgery To Begin Thu 13 September 2012 Michelle O'Byrne Minister for Health Hundreds of Tasmanians will soon benefit from new Commonwealth health funding as elective surgery procedures start to flow this month, the Minister for Health, Michelle O'Byrne said. Ms O'Byrne said the State and Federal Governments had signed an agreement that will deliver some 2600 procedures throughout the State over the next four years. "The agreement means that at least 500 procedures will be carried out this financial year, although we hope to deliver more than 700," she said. "Hundreds of Tasmanians will soon see the very real benefits of this funding - pain relief, increased mobility, improved quality of life - with many more to follow over the coming years. "In the North West, there will be an additional 57 joint procedures this year, while in the North the package will see another 200 cataract procedures undertaken along with joint replacements and hernia and gallbladder procedures among others. "The South will also carry out joint replacements, hernia and gallbladder procedures as well as tonsillectomies, spinal fusions and septoplasty." Ms O'Byrne said the first year would see roughly $8.8 million invested in elective surgery procedures, out of a total of $30.5 million over the full four years. "This comes on top of an additional $4 million of State Government funding for endoscopy and elective procedures this financial year." Ms O'Byrne said the elective surgery was just one component of the Commonwealth health package, which aims to deliver both immediate increases in procedures and long term reform for the Tasmanian system. "This $325 million package from the Commonwealth is a significant investment of new money into the Tasmanian health system," Ms O'Byrne said. "We have worked closely with clinicians, the Medicare Local, the University of Tasmania and the Commonwealth to ensure that it delivers the maximum possible benefit for our State. "There has been an enormous amount of hard work from all parties and I would like to commend those involved and the Commonwealth for their ongoing commitment to our health system." Ms O'Byrne said the other element of the package announced today, the Commission on Delivery of Health Services in Tasmania, will provide valuable input into ongoing efforts to create a more sustainable health system. "The Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments are committed to ensuring that this package delivers real, long term benefits through structural reforms - this Commission will help us do that. "I am very pleased that such highly regarded, highly qualified people will be carrying out this task. I look forward to working with Mr Alan Bansemer, Dr Alasdair MacDonald and Dr Heather Wellington." Procedures in 2012-13: THO-North West. Knees - 31. Hips - 26 THO-North Knees - 22. Hips - 20. Cataracts - 200. Hernias - 45. Gallbladders - 40. Spinal Fusions - 2. TURPS* - 20. Bladder suspensions - 10. THO-South Knees - 48. Hips - 24. Hernias - 72. Gallbladders - 72 Tonsils - 48. Spinal fusions - 19. Septoplasty** - 48. *TURPS - transurethral resection of the prostate (a urological procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia). **Septoplasty - an ENT procedure to straighten the nasal septum to correct impeded airflow. TOTAL - 747 procedures throughout the State.