NSW Health Deputy Secretary Susan Pearce said the report shows NSW had the highest performance across Australia for the proportion of patients seen within clinically recommended times in emergency departments, better than all other states in every triage category.
The NSW Bureau of Health Information report provides an overview of the performance of the NSW healthcare system in the context of both Australian and international comparators.
“Today’s release shows NSW continues to lead the nation in emergency department performance,” Ms Pearce said.
“These fantastic results are a credit to our hard working frontline staff, and are reflected in the patient reported experience of emergency care, where around 90 per cent of adults who visited an emergency department during 2016/17 rated their care as ‘very good’ and ’good’.
“Timeliness of elective surgery was excellent, with nearly 100 per cent of urgent procedures performed on time. The number of patients leaving emergency departments in NSW within the four-hour benchmark was also the best in Australia.”
Ms Pearce said the report also shows rates of seclusion in NSW public hospitals have decreased and NSW performs better than the national average, with lower rates.
The NSW Government in May this year announced around-the-clock supervision of mental health units and targets to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint under a plan to significantly improve mental health care in NSW. The plan includes mandatory public reporting of seclusion and restraint rates and more training of frontline staff.
Ms Pearce said while Aboriginal patients had a shorter media wait time for urgent surgery, and coronary artery bypass, they had longer media waits for semi-urgent and non-urgent compared with non-Aboriginal patients.
“NSW Health is continually working to improve access to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, as well as support for mental illness,” she said.
“This year, we announced a $5 million commitment to make mental health care more accessible and culturally safe for Aboriginal people, through increasing our Aboriginal workforce, funding suicide prevention initiatives, and improving training and development.”
In 2018-19 the NSW Government is investing a record $22.9 billion in health, representing a $1.1 billion increase over the 2017-18 Budget. This includes $19.2 billion towards improving services in hospitals in NSW this year. An investment of $759 million dollars for acute patient services will fund an additional 40,000 emergency department attendances in addition to 2.9 million already provided and 3,200 elective surgeries in addition to the 225,500 already provided.