BEREJIKLIAN GOVERNMENT AND NATIONALS MUST EXPLAIN WHY STADIUMS GET MORE FUNDING AND SUPPORT THAN REGIONAL HOSPITALS

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NSW Labor today demanded the Berejiklian Government and the National Party explain and justify why they are spending $2.7 billion on new stadiums in Sydney – while rural, regional and coastal families get a second-class health and hospital system.

NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley and Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord made the comments at Lismore Base Hospital – the State’s most under pressure hospital in rural and regional NSW.

They were at Lismore on day two of the Schools and Hospitals before Stadiums tour of the state.

In the most recent independent Bureau of Health Information data for the October to December 2017 quarterly reporting period released on March 14, Lismore Base Hospital had the longest waits in emergency department – outside Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle.

Mr Foley said the Berejiklian Government had the wrong priorities, preferring to spend $2.7 billion on stadiums rather than investing in rural and regional health, and schools. 

While Lismore Base Hospital is the subject of an upgrade, the hospital is unable to meet the growing demand in the region and it has the longest waits in emergency department for a rural and regional hospital.

Lismore Base Hospital

At Lismore Base Hospital’s emergency department, 32.9 per cent of its patients waited longer than four hours in the emergency department – compared to the State median of 26.4 per cent.  (Four hours is the national benchmark.)

Furthermore, 10 per cent of patients at Lismore Base Hospital waited more than eight hours and 27 minutes in the emergency department.

In a three month period, 8,877 patients presented to the emergency department. About 36,000 patients a year use the emergency department.

There were 295 babies born at Lismore Base Hospital in the most recent quarter.

Currently, there are 1,835 patients waiting for surgery at Lismore Base Hospital. This includes 891 patients for cataract removal; 414 for orthopaedic surgery; 208 for knee replacements; 125 for hip replacements; 75 for ear, nose and throat surgery; and 41 for tonsillectomies. 

The elective surgery waiting list at Lismore Hospital has increased by 18 per cent in the past year.

The number of patients waiting for a hip replacement has increased by 54 per cent in the past year.

Currently, there are five patients awaiting surgery at Lismore Base Hospital who have been waiting for more than a year. 

The median wait time at Lismore Base Hospital for non-urgent elective surgery was 326 days with 329 days for cataract removal, 329 days for total hip replacement and 335 days for total knee replacement surgery. These waits are well above the State average.

The median wait time for elective surgery in NSW is 210 days, however at Lismore Base Hospital, it is 326 days.

 Quotes attributable to NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley

 “Make no mistake, Lismore Base Hospital is at breaking point and patients are suffering.

“The Berejiklian Government has the wrong priorities. They are spending billions on stadiums but letting down country families wanting first class health and hospital services.

“Sadly, patients wait at every stage in NSW; they wait for an ambulance; they wait in an emergency department; they wait for a hospital bed; and when they finally get a bed, they are rushed out of the hospital, risking re-admission due to infection.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord

“Lismore Base Hospital is under enormous pressure with the longest waits in emergency departments in the entire State.

“Lismore Base Hospital has secured the unfortunate distinction of being the most under pressure hospital in regional NSW.”