Back to accessibility links

Elective Surgery

Key principles of waiting list management

In 2014 more than 217,000 patients underwent elective surgery in NSW public hospitals. Patients are placed on a waiting list and given a clinical priority category depending on the seriousness of their condition.

Managing elective patients and waiting lists is a key priority for the Government and NSW Health. The community insists on transparency and accountability. Patients expect timely, accessible and high quality patient centred services.

Waiting list management is a challenging, dynamic and complex process requiring input from and coordination by a multidisciplinary team.

The aim of effective waiting list management is to promote clinically appropriate, consistent and equitable management of elective patients and waiting lists in public hospitals across NSW. Hospitals must actively manage waiting lists in accordance with Elective Surgery Access Policy PD 2022_001.

Improve your knowledge on Waiting Time and Elective Patient Management Policy


Waiting time and elective patient management: Fact sheet (pdf 178KB)

WaLT: Waiting List Tool Fact Sheet (pdf 528KB)

Elective Surgery Policy PD 2022_001

Advice for Referring and Treating Doctors - Waiting Time & Elective Surgery Policy IB 2012_004

Surgery Access Line: Information for Patients and General Practitioners

AIHW. 2013. National definitions for elective surgery urgency categories: proposal for the Standing Council on Health. Cat. no. HSE 138

Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council. 2015. National Elective Surgery Urgency Categorisation Guideline

Program Contacts

Melinda Pascoe
A/Principal Policy Advisor – Surgery
NSW Ministry of Health
Phone: 02 9391 9557