AMA (NSW) President: NSW patients and hospitals can’t afford complacency on health care
- On June 8, 2016
AMA (NSW) President, Prof Brad Frankum, says public hospital funding must remain a priority if hospitals are going to keep up with demand.
“The State is facing substantial cuts to health funding from the Federal Government.
“Hospitals are headed for a fiscal cliff come July 2017 and patients will be the ones to pay the price.
Prof Frankum says the latest Bureau of Health Information report is proof that these cuts could not come at a worse time.
“The cracks are already beginning to show as NSW hospitals struggle to meet performance targets in the face of unprecedented demand for health services.
The latest statistics reveal that the State’s hospitals are beginning to slide on performance measures, despite the best efforts of staff.
The number of patients treated and admitted to hospital from emergency departments increased by 5% – this is the second quarter in a row that we’ve seen the record broken for the number of presentations at NSW emergency departments.
Year on year, the number of patients attending emergency departments is growing. Since the BHI started recording its data five years ago, NSW hospitals have seen a substantial increase – 130,000 extra patients in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the same time in 2011.
“The BHI report reveals NSW hospitals have been doing a remarkable job of holding the line, and even improving until recently, but they are now starting to slip.
“While on-time treatment in emergency has remained stable, there has been a dip in performance against the four-hour rule.
“Hospitals are not only seeing more patients, they are sicker patients that require more complex treatment.
“81% of triage one patients and 59% of triage two patients needed admission to hospital in the first quarter of this year, and they are the two areas that had the biggest growth in numbers,” Prof Frankum said.
“It’s also concerning that even though fewer elective surgeries were performed than the same time last year, the number of procedures done on time decreased slightly.
“We are at a critical juncture, and we need to focus on properly resourcing our health system.
“Patients will face longer waiting times and poorer health outcomes unless both parties commit to appropriately funding our public hospital systems now and into the future.”
Lachlan Jones (02) 9902 8113 / 0419 402 955
Andrea Cornish (02) 9902 8118 / 0419 402 955