What goes up but never down? That's right, waiting lists

A GP phones the local orthopaedic group to refer an elderly patient who needs a hip replacement.

Waiting list

First question: “Does your patient have private health insurance, doctor?”

Answer: “No.”

“First appointment to see the specialist is July.”


Not great. They mean July 2020. If the patient waits, takes pain relief, walks with a cane, and turns up in July 2020, what happens?

She sees the orthopaedic surgeon who then places her on the public hospital waiting list and her wait