Longer waits for ACT emergency department patients (ABC) - ( 4U5TR4L14 )


Patients at Canberra’s hospital emergency departments are waiting longer for treatment, with just over half seen on time last financial year.

ACT Health’s annual report shows only 51 per cent of emergency department patients were seen on time in 2012-2013, down from 55 per cent in 2011-2012.

That is well below the target of 70 per cent.

The emergency departments at Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital dealt with 118,969 presentations in 2012-2013, an increase of 580 on the previous year.

All category one patients were seen immediately.

But wait times for patients in categories two, three and four – due to be seen within 10, 30 and 60 minutes respectively- deteriorated.

ACT Health deputy director-general Ian Thompson blames more people turning up to emergency departments.

“The emergency department is continuing to get very high levels of demand and always when demand increases we have to look at ways in which to increase the capacity of the emergency department and the capacity of the rest of the hospital to respond,” he said.

“That demand pressure really does put pressure on the timeliness.”

Elective surgery waiting times improve

Overall wait times for elective surgery dropped 13 days in 2012-2013 compared to the previous year.

Category two waits fell from 89 days to 72 days, while category three times dropped from 198 days to 171 days.

The median waiting time for category one surgery was 14 days.



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