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NSW hospitals performing above national benchmarks -report

15 September, 2008

NSW Minister for Health Reba Meagher says that State's hospitals are performing better than ever despite a 4.5 per cent increase in the number of people attending our emergency departments over the past year.

"The Iemma Government's commitment to delivering improved access to health care and better standards right across the state is showing results and this year's data is a credit to all of our hard working clinical and hospital staff," Meagher said.

Meagher said the State's elective surgery performance is meeting all national benchmarks and in June 2008 there were just 40 patients waiting longer than 12 months for non-urgent surgery, down from more than 10,000 in January 2005.

"In June 2008 there were only 30 patients who waited longer than 30 days for their urgent elective surgery, which is down from over 5,000 patients in January 2005. This means more patients are having their surgery faster than ever before," Meagher said.

"Overall, people are waiting less time for elective surgery - an average of 2.7 months in June 2008, down from 3.6 in June 2005. This improvement is especially encouraging at a time when our hospitals are doing more operations than ever before.

"The transfer of patients from an ambulance to an emergency department within 30 minutes is also improving at 76 per cent in June, up from 73 per cent last year and 66 per cent in August 2005."

Meagher said emergency department waiting times have improved across all areas with standout improvement in the triage 4 and 5 categories.

Across NSW hospitals:

- 100 per cent of triage 1 patients are seen within the benchmark time of 2 minutes
- 82 per cent of triage 2 patients are seen within the benchmark time of 10 minutes - 2 percentage points above the national benchmark
- 72 per cent of triage 3 patients are seen within the benchmark time of 30 minutes - 3 percentage points below the national benchmark but a 1 percentage point improvement on 2007
- 75 per cent of triage 4 patients are seen within the benchmark time of 1 hour - 5 percentage points above the national benchmark
- 90 per cent of triage 5 patients are seen within the benchmark time of 2 hours - 20 percentage points above the national benchmark.

"NSW does have a world class health system that is making steady improvements year on year to ensure people have access to better health care closer to where they live. In fact independent reports show that emergency department waiting times are the best in the country," Meagher said.

"This year's performance results are extremely pleasing and I congratulate all of our clinical and support staff who work tirelessly to ensure people across the state are getting a high standard of care."

To view the data visit: www.health.nsw.gov.au

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