The latest independent performance statistics on Wollongong Hospital’s performance released by the Bureau of Health Statistics paint a damning report of Berejiklian Government neglect of the region’s health and hospital services, Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, said today.
The September 2019 quarterly statistics for Wollongong Hospital show:
- Elective surgery waiting list increased to 2582 people – 185 more people than the same time last year and 106 more people than the last quarter;
- Waiting times for semi-urgent elective surgery are the longest among Principal Referral Hospitals (PRH), are 14 days longer than the NSW average and 18 days longer than PRH peers (59 days versus 45 for NSW and 41 for PRHs);
- Waiting times for non-urgent elective surgery are the longest among Principal Referral Hospitals (PRH) are 94 days longer than the NSW average and 142 days longer than PRH peers (335 days versus 241 for NSW and 193 for PRHs);
- Waiting times at the Emergency Department has increased by 14 minutes and at 3 hours and 51 minutes is now 50 minutes longer than the NSW average;
- Waiting times at Wollongong’s Emergency Department are the third longest in NSW and the longest outside of Sydney;
- Patients leaving Wollongong’s Emergency Department within the recommended 4 hours has fallen 6.3 per cent since the end of June 2019 and stands 14.7 per cent lower than the NSW average;
- Emergency Department presentations have increased by 1021 over the last year and 486 since the end of June 2019.
Mr Scully said that on almost every measure, for yet another quarter, Wollongong Hospital’s performance has gone down.
“The Berejiklian Government cannot hide from the facts – Wollongong Hospital is under extreme pressure and that pressure is building each and every quarter.
“This is not the fault of any of our health professionals or support staff in the region. This comes back to inadequate resourcing and that is the direct result of decisions by NSW Health bureaucrats in Sydney.”
Mr Scully said that there are three immediate steps that the Berejiklian Government can take to reduce the pressure on health services at Wollongong Hospital:
- Refurbish the “ghost ward” to add more beds.
- Undertake an elective surgery blitz with a goal of reduce the elective surgery waiting list by half by mid next year.
- Commit to a construction timetable for a new health facility in Warrawong to replace Port Kembla Hospital and a new hospital at Shellharbour on a greenfield site to take pressure off Wollongong Hospital.
“The Berejiklian Government cannot continue to ignore what is happening at Wollongong Hospital – emergency department presentation keep increasing, elective surgery waiting lists keep increasing and waiting times keep increasing – it’s a recipe for disaster.
“The time to act is now.
“This sort of pressure on the health system can only be sustained for so long before it starts to have dire clinical impacts”, Mr Scully said.