No increase in peritonectomy surgeries at St George Hospital: official

NSW Health has no plans to increase the number of peritonectomy surgeries at St George Hospital. 

Chief executive of the NSW Cancer Institute, David Currow, said today that the 72 surgeries funded each year was in line with the number of patients who needed it the most. 

Mr Currow said the policy for managing peritoneal surgery waiting times was to prioritise patients.

All peritoneal surgeries in NSW are performed at the hospital by Professor David Morris and his team. 

Professor Morris has been openly critical of waiting times for the surgery, citing shortfalls in budgets and resources.

Peritonectomy surgery is one of most complex surgeries in the world and can take as long as 12 hours to perform. 

Many patients could spend months in intensive care, one of the most expensive departments to run in a hospital, said the Agency of Clinical Innovation's director of surgery, anaesthesia and critical care, Donald MacLellan. 

The Leader reported on October 17 that a decision was made to allow Professor Morris to operate on six additional category-one patients on the waiting list at Prince of Wales Hospital.

A decision was made since to perform those additional surgeries at St George Hospital before December 11.

Mr MacLellan and Professor Currow's comments were made during a media briefing at the NSW Health's head office at North Sydney this afternoon. 

Professor Morris was not invited to the briefing. 

The Leader is seeking comment from Professor Morris. 

Do you think there should be more peritonectomy surgeries at St George Hospital?