Health District Hospitals Demand Continues To Increase

Emergency departments across Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD)

are still performing well, even as they once again experienced a year on year

increase in patient numbers, with more than 29,600 presentations from October to

December 2019.

Chief Executive of SNSWLHD, Margaret Bennett, said despite the continued rise,

more than three-quarters (76.3 per cent) of patients started their treatment on time,

compared with a NSW state result of 72.6 per cent.

Ms Bennett said the results from the latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI)

quarterly report, October to December 2019, demonstrate the resilience of the

service during the recent bushfire crisis.

“This report covers a time when large parts of NSW were ravaged by bushfires and

blanketed in bushfire smoke,” Ms Bennett said.

“The most urgent patients in our emergency departments were treated quicker and

people had their non-urgent elective surgery earlier compared to the state results.

“Across the district there were 234 extra presentations to our emergency

departments, with an increase of six per cent, or 500 presentations, in the urgent


“All our staff are doing a wonderful job providing the best quality in patient care in

increasingly busy situations. Additionally, the District performed better than the NSW

results, with urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent surgery procedures all performed

ahead of the state average.

Ms Bennett said the figures come on the back of extensive investment by the NSW

Government in a number of facilities across the District, including the $120 million

Goulburn Hospital and Health Service redevelopment, with an upgraded Goulburn

Base Hospital as the main element of the project, and a further $30 million

announced for new cancer and renal service facilities.

Furthermore, $18.6 million is being spent redeveloping Cooma Hospital, and $150

million has been committed to building a new health facility in Eurobodalla.

A total of $8 million has been set aside for the Yass Hospital redevelopment, with

funding for the Braidwood Multipurpose Service (MPS) redevelopment coming from

the $304 million State-wide program of works to upgrade MPS facilities in a number

of rural and remote communities across NSW.

At Crookwell District Hospital, $2.5 million has been committed for refurbishment


Batemans Bay District Hospital saw 3804 emergency department (ED)

presentations, down 24.6 per cent, or 1240 fewer people compared with 2018.

Emergency patients leaving the ED within four hours was at 85.2 per cent, well

ahead of the state target, while on time treatment for emergency and urgent

presentations were also ahead of the NSW median.

Batemans Bay District Hospital has continued to do well in elective surgery

performance, with 100 per cent of all 185 elective surgery patients having their

surgery on time.

At Moruya District Hospital, 100 per cent of urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent

elective surgery was performed on time in this quarter. The hospital also recorded

healthy emergency department performance, seeing 3144 patients, an increase of

4.1 per cent or 124 more people on the same period in 2018. 70.7 per cent of patients

started their treatment on time in the ED, an improvement of 1.2 percentage points

on the same quarter in 2018.

South East Regional Hospital (SERH) continued to increase its emergency

department performance with emergency department presentations 1.6 per cent

lower than the same quarter in 2018. The ED recorded an improvement of 5.9

percentage points, up to 74.5 per cent to be ahead of the peer group average, of

patients starting treatment on time in the ED.

Elective surgery performance improved, with 97.2 per cent of the 466 patients having

their elective surgery within the clinically recommended timeframe, an improvement

of eight percentage points on the same quarter in 2018. This includes 100 per cent

of the 73 urgent procedures being performed on time.

The 2019-20 budget for Southern New South Wales Local Health District

(SNSWLHD) is almost $434 million. This is an increase of nearly $13 million on the

previous financial year’s budget.

Between mid-2012 and mid-2019, the Southern New South Wales Local Health

District increased its workforce by an additional 467 full time equivalent staff - an

increase of 26.4 per cent including 49 more doctors, 158 more nurses and midwives,

and 68 more allied health staff.

The NSW Government is also investing $2.8 billion to recruit 8,300 extra frontline staff

over the next four years, including an additional 5,000 nurses and midwives.

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