26 September 2023

Hospitals healthy despite pandemic pressure

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Victorian healthcare workers and paramedics have once again shown their dedication to caring for the community in ongoing pandemic pressures with the Victorian Agency for Health Information (VAHI) releasing the latest health and ambulance performance data.

Commenting on the data, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Martin Foley said they showed emergency departments (ED) had treated 462,934 patients in the first three months of the year.

“Despite facing the global Omicron outbreak and subsequent record levels of sick or symptomatic staff in isolation that caused the state’s first ever Pandemic Code Brown,” Mr Foley said.

“Despite significant ED demand and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on staffing across the country, Victoria’s hospitals were still able to deliver 27,690 elective surgery procedures,” he said.

“This was around six per cent less than the previous quarter, due to the Omicron wave and Code Brown emergency management structure.”

Mr Foley said 99.97 per cent of Category 1 elective surgery patients were treated within the recommended time.

“While life has gone back to normal for most of us, we know our healthcare workers still face huge pressures every day – and that despite this, the most serious patients continue to receive the care and treatment they expect and need,” the Minister said.

He said that only three weeks into the Department of Health’s COVID Catch Up Plan, health services had already begun developing surgery action plans to address the waiting list (at 89,611 on 29 April) and deliver a record 240,000 surgeries each year by 2024.

Mr Foley said the VAHI data also showed that Ambulance Victoria was able to stabilise its performance under significant pressure, with 66.8 per cent of Code 1 cases responded to within 15 minutes, compared to 66.5 per cent last quarter.

VAHI’s first quarter 2022 health and performance data can be viewed online at this PS News link.

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