Hospital wait times improving: report

Ambulances parked in the emergency bay at St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst, Sydney, Tuesday, May 22, 2012. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

By Belinda Merhab
(Australian Associated Press)

Emergency department wait times have improved in recent years, but new figures reveal patients in the states are faring much better than those living in the territories.

Between 2009/10 and 2013/14, the number of patients seen on time at public hospital emergency departments improved from 70 per cent to 75 per cent overall, according to figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Tuesday.

But the figures reveal major differences between wait times in the states compared with the territories.

Despite having by far the largest number of total presentations, the 2013/14 figures show NSW was the best performer, with 81 per cent of patients seen on time.

That compares with just 57 per cent of patients seen on time in the Northern Territory and 61 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory.

Just half of all urgent patients were seen on time in the ACT, and the NT wasn’t much better at 51 per cent.

The report said 73 per cent of overall emergency department presentations were completed within four hours in 2013/14.

Western Australia led the way with 79 per cent while the ACT and NT came in at just 62 per cent.


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