Medicine

Hospital waiting lists at six-year low

The number of Victorian patients waiting for elective surgery is at its lowest level since June 2010.

The Victorian Health Services Performance data shows the state’s hospitals admitted and treated 48,222 patients from the elective surgery waiting list in the June quarter – the highest number ever.

On 30 June 2016, 37,004 people remained on the list – the lowest number since the last year of the Government, when 36,988 patients were waiting for elective surgery.

The figures show a significant drop from a record high of 50,054 patients in March 2013 under the previous Victorian Government.

Ambulance response figures show that most Victorians communities are waiting less time for an ambulance.

The reports were released by the Deputy Premier and Acting Minister for Ambulance Services, James Merlino during a visit to Doncaster to announce an ambulance station.

The $4.18 million purpose-built Doncaster station, funded in the 16/17 Victorian Budget as one of 17 rebuilt and upgraded stations will replace an outdated facility located in a 1950s house with no garage and minimal facilities.

Emergency response figures show that most Victorians communities are waiting less time for an ambulance.

Since the election of the Victorian Government, the average time for an ambulance to reach the scene of a Code 1 accident or emergency has improved across most of the state, with significant improvements in reaching time-critical patients.

The reduced wait times reflect the Government’s boost to hospital and ambulance funding.

The 2016/17 Budget included a $335 million boost for elective surgery and an immediate $20 million capital works injection. As part of the Budget, $60 million was provided to the Response Time Rescue Fund to improve responses times for patients waiting for an ambulance.

All of Victoria’s most urgent Category 1 elective surgery patients received their treatment within the benchmark 30 days in the June quarter – more than half of them within 10 days.

Our hospitals admitted more patients in the June quarter than ever before – 445,145 patients, 7.1 per cent more than a year earlier. Hospitals also saw 420,766 patients in the emergency department – up from 402,681 a year earlier. Emergency department attendances have increased by over 36 per cent in the last four years, with the level of care patients need also increasing, placing more pressure on emergency department staff.

Victoria’s hospitals are providing more specialist treatment to ill and injured babies, with 3501 admitted to neonatal intensive care units and special care nurseries in the June quarter – the highest number ever.

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