Patient Flows in Cancer Surgery (#95)
We estimated the proportion of cancer
patients who received surgery in hospitals outside their health service area of
residence to compare the inter-district patient flows in rural and urban areas.
The proportion of patients who received cancer surgery in hospitals outside their health service areas of residence was estimated for Queensland residents treated with surgery for female breast cancer (n=22,124), colorectal cancer (23,381), and non-small cell lung cancer (2,570) diagnosed between 2001 and 2010.
Among patients who underwent cancer
surgery, 13% travelled to hospitals outside their health service areas of
residence to receive treatment. The rate was much higher among rural patients,
31% of whom received treatment outside their area of residence; in contrast,
only 5% of urban patients went outside their districts to receive treatment.
The difference is most pronounced with lung cancer where all surgeries were
performed in urban hospitals, hence 100% of rural lung cancer patients received
surgery outside their area of residence, compared to 27% among urban patients.
In both breast and colorectal cancers, 4% of urban patients travelled inter-district for
surgery, compared to 27% of rural patients.