Ambulance response times at two-year low, but still more work to do to meet demand
The latest health dashboard shows the Government’s commitment to investing in health services for Tasmanians is continuing to show benefits.
We know there is still a lot of work to be done to build a better health system, but it is also important to recognise the improvements that have been made thanks to the outstanding efforts of our hardworking staff, supported by Government investments into frontline services.
I am delighted to see median ambulance response times are the lowest they have been in two years – from a peak of 14.5 minutes in January 2017 to 12.3 minutes in September this year.
These outstanding results in the face of consistently high demand on ambulance services reflects the hard work of Ambulance Tasmania and the professional approach of our paramedics. We will continue to invest in this crucial service as we roll out our $125 million plan, which includes over 50 new paramedics and greatly improved coverage for rural and regional communities in particular.
Other improvements noted in the dashboard include a significant reduction in the oral health waiting list of almost 1000 between May and September 2018, as well as reductions in average waiting times for outpatient appointments.
The Government acknowledges demand on elective surgery has continued to grow at a significant rate, which has seen an increased rate of additions to the waiting list in spite of almost $25 million of additional funding for elective surgery delivered this financial year and recent recognition of Tasmania doing more surgeries per capita than any other state.
Importantly, the percentage of patients treated within clinically recommended timeframes remains at around 70 per cent for the 12 month dashboard period, and we will continue to do whatever we can to effectively manage this area of the system.
The latest health dashboard is available at https://www.healthstats.dhhs.tas.gov.au/healthsystem.