About operations and surgical procedures

Your surgical journey starts when you are referred for an elective procedure by a general practitioner (GP), district medical officer (DMO), or another health specialist.

You will then have a clinical assessment, which is done in an appropriate surgical clinic closest to your home. This can also be done through Telehealth, which involves a video link to a doctor for your assessment and planning.

If it is decided that you need surgical intervention then more investigation is followed by being placed on a wait-list. Your position on the wait-list will be determined by your category of urgency for surgery.

The three categories are for surgery to happen within:

  • 30 days
  • 90 days
  • 365 days.

If you can't attend a planned procedure within the recommended time then your procedure can be deferred until your circumstances allow you to be ready for care.

When it is time to proceed, you will have an anaesthetic assessment and the planned procedure will be done at your closest hospital that is suitable for the procedure. This will be done by doctors who are credentialed to perform that procedure.

Emergency surgery

Almost 50% of surgical procedures done by the Top End Health Service (TEHS) are emergencies.

An emergency surgical procedure is one that can't wait for 24 hours. The majority of emergency surgical procedures done at the TEHS are performed at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

Last updated: 28 November 2017