WAITING LISTS FOR SURGERY IN NSW SOAR WHILE PATIENTS LEFT LANGUISHING IN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS

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The NSW Labor Opposition has said that the latest report from the Bureau of Health Information shows that the NSW health and hospital system has been run down by the NSW Liberals and Nationals, as waiting lists for surgery have soared, ambulance response times have slowed, and more people are stuck in emergency departments under the watch of Minister Hazzard.

NSW health and hospital system is under enormous pressure with the waiting list for surgery blowing out to over 84,000 patients (84,131). This latest figure breaks the record set last quarter, when the waiting list exceeded 80,000 patients for the first time. 

The record 84,131 patients were waiting for non-urgent procedures like cataract removal, knee and hip replacements and tonsillectomies.  Of those, ten per cent were waiting longer than 359 days for their surgery.

In April 2011, there were just 66,000 patients waiting for elective surgery in NSW.

Ambulance response times in all categories – including P1A: Highest priority – got slower with a record 309,734 call-outs. Ten per cent of P2: Urgent patients waited longer than 53 minutes.

While surgery wait lists and ambulance response times have grown, patients are also spending longer waiting in emergency departments. Nearly 30 per cent (29.4%) of patients spend more than 4 hours in the ED, with 10 per cent of patients waiting longer than 7 hours and 35 minutes.

Figures also show that the percentage of ED patients whose treatment started within the recommended timeframe had dropped across all triage categories compared to the same period in 2018.

Concerningly, treatment start times for T2: Emergency patients fell well short of the recommended ‘80 per cent within 10 minutes’, with only 62.5 per cent of these patients commencing treatment in this timeframe.

NSW Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said: “The health and hospital system across NSW is under enormous pressure thanks to the neglect of the NSW Liberals and Nationals.”

“The Premier told the people of NSW that they could have it all under the Liberals before the last election. Instead our hospitals are now at breaking point thanks to the Government’s neglect and patient care will decline as a result.”

“The people of NSW expect the Government to make sure there’s a strong, well resourced public health system that’s meeting the needs of people all across our state. Today’s report is clear evidence that the Premier and Minister Hazzard have failed on that score.”

This information was drawn from the release of independent data from the Bureau of Health Information for the April-June 2019 quarterly reported period.

Hospital - Emergency Department Per cent of patients who waited longer than four hours
Liverpool 52.8
Campbelltown 47.3
Wollongong 43.7
Nepean 43.6
Gosford 42.9
Shoalhaven 42.6
Westmead 42.3
Blacktown 40.7
Sutherland 40.4

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