The latest AIHW report shows elective surgery average waiting times in Tasmania are the lowest they’ve been in five years.*
It also highlights an improvement for the longest waiting patients. In fact, Tasmania is now better than average and in the top four in the nation.#
This is driven by Tasmania having the highest per capita rate of surgery of any state or territory in Australia. This shows our additional funding for elective is working to reduce waiting times.
The latest data confirms Tasmania’s emergency departments have seen an increase in presentations, with 6,118 more people presenting last financial year.
While increased demand is being felt Australia-wide, Tasmania had the highest growth rate of any state or territory last financial year. Despite this, the median waiting time for ED care reduced slightly and the proportion of people seen on time increased slightly.
While the report does show an improvement in the number of people being admitted to hospital within four hours, at under 30 per cent this figure is far from acceptable and demonstrates there is a lot more work to be done.
It is exactly why we are working to open more hospital beds, to reduce bed block and treat more patients, sooner.
Our hospitals never close their doors, and while we can’t control demand, we have been responding with immediate and short-term solutions, such as our ED support package, 22 extra beds at the Hobart Repatriation Hospital, opening the brand new Glenorchy Health Centre, and the new relocated transit lounge to improve patient flow.
I acknowledge the pressures this puts on our dedicated health system staff, and I thank them for their work and unwavering commitment to providing patient care in the face of growing demand.
While there is always more to be done, we are on track to deliver our record $757 million plan for health, which includes opening nearly 300 new hospital beds, employing additional 1300 health staff and rolling out new services.
*Days waited at the 50th percentile (admitted patients) – the number of days within which 50% of patients were treated in 2017-18
#Days waited at the 90th percentile (admitted patients) – the number of days within which 90% of patients were treated in 2017-18