Coronavirus restrictions on surgery leaves thousands on burgeoning wait lists — often living in agony

5 August 2020

University of Queensland health economist Professor Luke Connelly said Queenslanders were in "uncertain territory".

"If we do not get a vaccine soon we can't expect to return to the normal waiting lists we have seen in the past for elective surgery," Professor Connelly said.

Adding to the COVID-19 crisis is the massive number of people ditching private health care because of cost, job losses and the worsening recession.

Professor Connelly said the latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data was sobering — more than 10,000 people cancelled their policies in the first quarter of this year.

Professor Connelly from UQ's Centre for the Business and Economics of Health featured on ABC Online discussing how thousands of people are ditching private health insurance, even though basic hospital cover is at its lowest level in more than a decade.

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