26 September 2023

NSW Hospitals show signs of recovery

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Despite record numbers of ambulance callouts and emergency department (ED) presentations, wait times in NSW public hospitals were down for the third consecutive quarter, according to the latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) Healthcare Quarterly report.

Welcoming the results, Minister for Health, Ryan Park said that throughout the first quarter of 2023 (January – March), there were 770,089 attendances to NSW public emergency departments.

“Of these, 113,637 were patients with an imminently life-threatening condition (triage category 2) – the highest number of patients recorded in this category since BHI began reporting,” Mr Park said.

“Despite the increase in more complex presentations, the majority of patients (67.4 per cent) started their treatment on time, while almost 8 in 10 patients (77.7 per cent) were transferred from ambulance to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark time.”

However, he said the results also showed the State’s health system was still facing major challenges, with a record 347,720 ambulance responses, the highest of any quarter since 2010, and 10,868 life-threatening cases (P1A responses) for NSW Ambulance which was slightly down on the previous quarter but still up 70.3 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.

Mr Park said the signs of recovery were a “testament to the hard work and dedication of each and every one of our essential healthcare workers.”

“The Healthcare Quarterly report also showed the volume of planned surgery performed in NSW public hospitals rose to the second highest of any quarter in almost two years, with 54,820 planned surgeries performed in the first quarter of 2023,” the Minister said.

“There were 96,857 patients on the waiting list at the end of March, down 2.5 per cent percent from the previous quarter.”

The BHI’s 29-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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