Hunter surgery waiting times static

THE wait for Hunter patients in hospital emergency departments stacks up well compared to state averages.

But despite state government attempts to drive down waiting times for urgent elective surgery, figures remain unchanged from last year.

The latest Bureau of Health Information report from July to September 2012  reveals  Hunter patients continue to wait a median of 12 days for urgent elective surgery. The state average is 11 days.

In the region, 94 per cent of patients requiring urgent elective surgery were treated on time compared to 96 per cent across the state.

At Belmont Hospital 100 per cent of these patients were treated on time, but this dropped to 69 per cent at Calvary Mater.

The report showed that for imminently life-threatening conditions, including chest pain, the median waiting time in emergency departments until treatment began was eight minutes for the state.

But patients in the Hunter New England Local Health District had a median waiting time of seven minutes.

And John Hunter was the best-performing hospital among the 13 major NSW teaching hospitals, with a median wait time of six minutes.

The report said it took up to 35 minutes for 95 per cent of patients to be treated.

For potentially life-threatening conditions, including moderate blood loss and dehydration, the median waiting time  across the state was 24 minutes.

In the Hunter, the median was 20 minutes, with 95 per cent of patients treated within 113 minutes.

The region’s median time to treatment was faster than the NSW average in all four triage categories, despite an increase in patients, a Hunter New England Health spokesperson said. 

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