NSW EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS ARE OVERWHELMED

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NSW hospitals – particularly those in western Sydney – are overwhelmed with patients due to a serious lack of beds, forcing them to wait longer in emergency departments.

The latest Bureau of Health Information quarterly report for April – June 2015 has found: 

  • In the last five years, there has been a 25 per cent increase in patients going to emergency departments;
  • The time to treat the most serious ill category (immediate resuscitation) has jumped to 50 minutes;
  • 15 per cent of all ambulances were stuck in “bed block” meaning they were lined up outside emergency departments waiting to dispatch patients; and
  • Overall, the State’s hospitals were failing to meet national health targets of treating and discharging 90 per cent of patients within four hours.

Yesterday, in Budget Estimates, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the health system was under “extreme pressure” and predicted that the current ambulance situation would worsen over the next two weeks.

Other data included:

An additional 11,926 more patients visited the State’s emergency departments bringing the total to 628,525 patients;

  • State-wide 27 per cent of patients waited more than four hours for treatment in emergency departments (a one per cent improvement);
  • 19 per cent of patients waited between four and eight hours in emergency;
  • Five per cent waited between eight to 12 hours for treatment in emergency
  • 73,063 patients were waiting for elective surgery; and
  • The median wait for non-urgent surgery in NSW increased by seven days to 233 days.

PERCENTAGE OF PATIENTS WAITING MORE THAN FOUR HOURS IN EMERGENCY

Hospital

Patients waited more than four hours

Nepean

47 per cent

Blacktown

45 per cent

Westmead

44 per cent

Liverpool

43 per cent

Campbelltown

34 per cent

Mount Druitt

31 per cent

Bankstown

24 per cent

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Health Walt Secord

“The health and hospital system is under enormous pressure and is completely overstretched.”

“The Baird Government is failing patients – particularly those in western Sydney hospitals.”

“Almost half of patients in Western Sydney are waiting longer than four hours for treatment. That is completely unacceptable.”

“Each day, there is a new individual case or a new independent report showing that the Baird Government cannot handle the growing problems in our health system.”

“Each day, we hear about ambulance delays; long waits in emergency departments and long queues for elective surgery. It all goes back to a lack of beds and under-resourcing.”

“This is the human cost of the Baird Government’s $3 billion in health and hospital cuts.”