“COVID-19 shutdowns caused a significant deterioration in elective surgery waiting lists. As well as calling for federal and state governments to work together on a national plan to address the backlog, the Election Statement also calls for a review of the national definitions for elective surgery urgency categories.

“Significantly, we would like the term ‘elective surgery’ to be reconsidered. The sector must be careful that the terminology used to define types of surgery does not result in the importance of these procedures being diminished, or be used to implicitly justify long waiting times,” says RACS Councillor Professor Mark Frydenberg.

The Election Statement also calls on the Australian federal government to:

work with other jurisdictions and stakeholders, including medical colleges, on the development of policies, programs and processes to implement the recommendations contained in the Australian Human Rights Commission 2020 Respect@Work report, including legislation to place a positive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment at work
support the restriction of the title ‘surgeon’ to those with accredited, advanced surgical training. The RACS position on this issue is detailed in this submission in response to a Health Council Consultation
work with the sector to address the reasons why Australians are dropping out of private health.
provide access to surgery in rural areas and among indigenous populations, improving care through appropriate clinician-led outcome data collection and dissemination, and ensuring the MBS continues to provide equitable access to the best health services
reduce death and serious injury on our roads
safeguard the health of all Australians from the threat of climate change
support and strengthen health security and long-term health systems in the Pacific region.

Read the RACS Election Statement for more information.