Like all medical and surgical specialties, referral to an orthopaedic surgeon may involve a wait for an appointment. During busy periods some of the orthopaedic surgeons in Hobart have waiting time to see them in a private practice of more than 6 months. The Royal Hobart Hospital waiting time for an initial orthopaedic surgery consultation (other than appropriately referred emergent or urgent cases) can be closer to a year.
The most appropriate way in which more-urgent conditions can be assessed earlier is to ensure that the referring medical practitioner provides adequate information on a referral to ensure that (when received) the condition can be triaged to an appropriate appointment time.
Dr Mackie prefers to triage all referrals forwarded to his office to ensure that patients with severe orthopaedic conditions can be seen early. Dr Mackie does however attempt to see all referred patients within 1 month of referral, with most patients being seen within 2 – 3 weeks (and urgent conditions usually within the week). Dr Mackie tries to ensure that consulting times are kept reserved for urgent assessments (new referrals or review consultations for patients with concerns). If quiet times prevail and Dr Mackie does not need to utilise these available consulting times then he is grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with his family!