We recognise that managing waiting times is a difficult and complex task. Waiting times are influenced by many factors, some of which are outside the control of NSW Health. There are, however, steps which NSW Health could, and should, take to ensure that the processes to manage waiting times are efficient and effective. By all measures used by NSW Health, patients are waiting longer for elective treatment today than six or seven years ago. In March 2003 patients admitted to elective medical or surgical treatment had waited, on average, 1.8 months, whereas in March 1997 they would have waited on average 1.1 months.