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NSW health system performing above national average

12 February, 2008

The NSW public health system continues to perform at or above the national average for almost every performance indicator, according to the Auditor-General's Report to Parliament 2008 Volume One.

NSW Minister for Health, Reba Meagher, said the Auditor-General's report reinforces the

On a typical day, more than 17,000 people spend the day in a public hospital in NSW and about 6,000 people are seen in our emergency departments," Meagher said.

"At a time when demand on the public health system is increasing at unprecedented levels, these reports serve as a valuable reminder that our hospital performance is among the best in the country.

"The State Plan sets out our clear priorities in improving access to quality health care.

"The strong performance of our hospitals is the result of continued investment in reforms designed to identify the reasons patients experience delays within the hospital system - particularly in the emergency department - and to overcome them."

The Auditor-General's report found that NSW exceeded the national average for the treatment of emergency department patients in Triage categories 1, 2 and 4. NSW met the national average for Triage category 5, and while the state's performance in Triage category 3 was slightly below the national average it had improved on the 2005/06 report.

"The Auditor-General's Report to Parliament 2008 Volume One acknowledges the significant improvements that have been made over the past few years and shows that NSW has been able to maintain its strong performance despite a 6.5 per cent increase in emergency department attendances," Meagher said.

"We are continuing to invest in more doctors, more nurses and more hospital beds to meet the increasing demand on our health system.

"The $30 million emergency department package announced recently provided an additional 35 emergency specialists and an extra 150 acute hospital beds on top of the 100 hospital beds funded in the record $12.5 billion 2007/08 Health Budget," she said.

"This year we have provided places for a record number of graduate nurses in public hospitals across the state and welcomed a record number of medical interns.

"There is always a case for improvements in our health system - and we are getting on with the job of making the changes needed to deliver better patient care.

"The NSW public health system is performing among the best in the country and we are committed to maintaining and improving that strong performance to ensure the best possible health care for the people of NSW."

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