- On September 11, 2019
Unprecedented demand is seeing hospital performance measures slide as hospitals try to deal with a patient load they were never built for, AMA (NSW) President, Dr Kean-Seng Lim said.
“Almost a fifth of the population of NSW has effectively been through the doors of the State’s public hospitals’ emergency departments in the first half of this year.
“The latest report from the Bureau of Health information shows another 750,000 emergency presentations at public hospitals in NSW in the April to June quarter.
“This is the second time there have ever been this many presentations in a single quarter and both of those have been this year.
“Having 1.5 million emergency presentations at this point in the year is something that has simply never happened before.
“If this continues, by the end of the year, we’ll be in a situation where it will have been effectively 40% of the population presenting to emergency.
“Our hospitals were never built to cope with these numbers and the system has not been designed to cope as effectively as it could.
“Compounding this is that the acuity of illness and injury suffered by patients presenting at emergency is also increasing.
“Both of these factors can be seen in the poorer results in performance measures.
“There is a clear need to re-evaluate how we integrate and coordinate care in our system better, improving our digital health platforms, and improving care in the community before and after hospital visits.
“That said, the staff we do have are doing a phenomenal job against these odds.
“Our hospitals are under extreme levels of pressure and it’s only getting worse, but NSW still has an enviable record in terms of providing good levels of care.
“There is urgent need for action if people in NSW can expect to continue to receive the levels of care they deserve.
“Much more needs to be done in the areas of preventative health, coordination of care, integration with community-based providers, and proper resourcing of the whole health system,” Dr Lim said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0419 402 955