Elective surgery

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

Elective surgery is usually performed by a surgeon in an operating theatre or procedure room under some form of anaesthesia. Elective surgery is different to cosmetic surgery, which is not performed in public hospitals.

Patients requiring emergency surgery are not placed on the elective surgery waiting list.

The EMHS Elective Surgery Information brochure (PDF 837KB) describes what it means to be on a East Metropolitan Health Service public hospital elective surgery waiting list, and what patients need to do while on the waiting list.

Elective Surgery Q&A info sheet

WA elective surgery target

In January 2016, WA Health adopted a new WA Elective Services Target (WEST) which aims to ensure timely access to public elective surgical services. This replaces the National Elective Surgery Target (NEST) following the expiry of the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services in 2015.

From 1 April 2016, WEST will begin focussing on the percentage of over boundary cases (i.e. those waiting longer than the clinically recommended time) on the waiting list, with a target of 0%.

Further information on elective waiting lists for Western Australian public hospitals is available in the Elective Surgery Wait List Reports.