Gladstone Hospital no-shows cost a whopping $630K

THE Gladstone Hospital lost $630,000 in 12 months because of patient tardiness.

New figures show more than 3000 people failed to attend their appointments at Gladstone Hospital's Specialist Outpatients Department last year.

The hospital has released the figures in a bid to show people how their tardiness impacts on hospital staff and other patients.

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Gladstone Hospital allied health clinical network manager Stuart Orr.
Gladstone Hospital allied health clinical network manager Stuart Orr.

Allied Health Clinical Network Manager Stuart Orr said missed appointments made other people wait longer to be seen by a specialist doctor, and wasted valuable health resources.

"To have highly skilled clinicians waiting for a patient who doesn't show up deprives someone else of the care they need," Mr Orr said.

"In terms of cost, this equates to some $630,000 which is the approximate cost of six experienced nurses or three senior doctors," he said.

Gladstone Hospital is working to reduce the number of people waiting longer than the clinically recommended time for specialist appointments, and is asking residents to play their part.

Recently the hospital announced it had hired more specialists than ever before to change its service from a rural model which relied on locum doctors to "specialist led".



There will be 15 additional specialists at the hospital, some who have already started and others who will arrive before the end of the year.

"We are committed to better managing demand for outpatient services to ensure our patients get a specialist appointment as quickly as possible," Mr Orr said.

"Our message to people is please keep your appointment or cancel it, just don't forget it," he said.

"Missed appointments cost us all."

Gladstone Hospital sends SMS messages to remind people of their appointments if they register for this service.

Mr Orr recommended patients call 49763200 if they could not make an appointment.