Bendigo Hospital is treating more patients at its emergency department within required time frames but still lags behind the national average for similar-sized hospitals.
In the 2017–18 financial year, 71 per cent of emergency patients were treated within 10 minutes of arrival at the emergency department of the hospital, which improved from 62 per cent in 2016-17.
The national average for large regional hospitals was 80 per cent, according to the latest data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The percentage of people treated within 30 minutes of arrival at the emergency department improved to 71 per cent in 2017-18, which was inline with the national average.
The hospital treated just under 48,516 people that presented to its emergency department in 2017-18 – an increase of around 1600 from the previous year.
Non-urgent elective surgeries proved problematic, with 74 per cent of the 2456 patients having surgery within 90 days.
The national average was 90 per cent.
Bendigo Hospital completed 86 per cent of surgeries required within a year, which was 10 per cent below the national average.
Bendigo Health’s executive director of clinical operations Robyn Lindsay said the hospital had recently made changes to assessments at its ED department, involving senior doctors being more involved in the initial assessment of patients and also earlier identification of patients who will require admission to the hospital.
Ms Lindsay said the hospital had seen a reduction in the overall number of people on the elective surgery waiting list over the past 18 months.
The Australia Medical Association used the AIHW data to advance its political agenda ahead of next year’s Federal Election.
“Patients are joining public hospital waiting lists for elective surgery at rates faster than public hospitals can admit them,” AMA President Dr Tony Bartone said.
“Patient presentations in emergency departments continue to increase year on year.”
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