NSW tops nation for quick emergency department wait times


NEW South Wales hospitals have the shortest emergency department wait times in the country, with four out of five patients being seen on time.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's latest report reveals NSW emergency department met 81% of their waiting time benchmarks - immediate response for cases classed as resuscitation, 10 minutes for emergency, half an hour for urgent, an hour for semi-urgent and two hours for non-urgent.

The next-best performer was Victoria with 74% of patients seen on time.

NSW hospitals also recorded the lowest median wait time for patients to start clinical care in the emergency department (15 minutes), ahead of Victoria (19 minutes).

The national average was 19 minutes.

Specific breakdowns for hospitals were not available, but the NSW Bureau of Health Information's performance profiles for April to June show most Northern NSW Local Health District are on par with the state average.

The figures reveal 73.9% of patients across NSW spent four hours or less in the emergency department.

Grafton Base Hospital had a 74.3% strike rate, with Maclean District Hospital meeting targets 84.5% of the time.

Lismore Base Hospital was by far the health district's worst performer with just 66.1% of patients spending four hours or less in emergency.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner praised health workers for the strong results.

"NSW continues to have the highest proportion of patients seen on time despite the increasing number of patients presenting to emergency departments," she said.

"I am proud of the wonderful work our hospital staff are doing across the state."


Topics:  general-seniors-news grafton base hospital jillian skinner lismore base hospital medical nsw health

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