Tweed Hospital has improved its emergency treatment times over the past year.
Tweed Hospital has improved its emergency treatment times over the past year. Comstock

Tweed hospital improves emergency treatment times

THE Tweed Hospital has bucked a North Coast trend and improved its treatment times despite a rise in emergency department admissions over the past year.

New figures for the April–June quarter show 84% of Tweed emergency patients were treated and discharged within four hours.

It was better than the 73% state average and 2% better than the same time last year.

But it still fell below the 90% national health target.

Murwillumbah District Hospital’s four-hour clearance rate fell 2% over 12 months to reach par with the 90% benchmark.

The report revealed the Tweed Hospital handled 11,546 emergency department presentations during the 2015 April–June quarter – 372 more than the same time in 2014.

Across NSW there has been a 25% increase in patients admitted to emergency departments over the past five years.

About 15% of all ambulances were stuck in “bed block” – lined up outside emergency departments waiting to dispatch patients.

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner told a budget estimates hearing the health system was under “extreme pressure” and predicted the ambulance situation would worsen over the coming fortnight.

But she remained positive about elective surgery waiting times.

“The proportion of patients who received elective surgery in the recommended timeframe is now 97%,” Mrs Skinner said.

Shadow health minister Walt Secord said the system was overstretched through inadequate staffing.

“Each day, we hear about ambulance delays; long waits in emergency departments and long queues for elective surgery,” he said.

“It all goes back to a lack of beds and under-resourcing.”

–APN NEWSDESK

HOSPITAL EMERGENCY

(April–June 2015)

8374 front-door admissions

2.6 days average stay

11,546 emergency department presentations

84% left within four hours

310 babies born

877 elective surgeries

UNDER THE KNIFE

Most common elective surgery

Cystoscopy – 97

Tonsillectomy – 54

Total knee replacement – 51

Hysterectomy – 37

General – 35



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