The latest Bureau of Health Information report on Northern NSW Local Health District’s performance was released today.
Covid meant the district had its most challenging quarter for the NSW Health system since the Bureau of Health Information reporting began.
Emergency departments across the district saw almost 50,000 attendances in the July to September quarter.
The report measures hospital performance across the state and showed a 4.7% increase in activity in Northern NSW emergency departments compared with the same quarter in 2020.
A total of 49,811 people attended Northern NSW emergency departments for treatment.
This included 9,038 patients arriving by ambulance, an 8.5 % increase on the same quarter last year.
Across the local health district 72.9% of people left the emergency department within four hours, a 2.6% decrease on the comparable quarter and above the state average of 67.5%.
Chief executive Wayne Jones said the results show the region’s health services coped well under the pressure of covid.
“With the state opening up and restrictions continuing to ease, we naturally expect to see greater numbers of people presenting to hospital once again,” Mr Jones said.
During July to September 2021, 3,905 elective surgeries were performed, 4.6% fewer than in the same quarter in 2020. The median waiting time for urgent elective surgery decreased by one day, to an average of 14 days.
The 2021-22 budget for Northern NSW Local Health District is more than $946 million, an increase of nearly $33 million or 3.6% more than the previous year’s budget.
Casino & District Memorial Hospital had 3,332 people attend the emergency department in the July-September quarter, a 21.4% increase on the same quarter in 2020.
Despite this significant increase in attendance, 67.6% of patients started treatment on time, with 84.6% leaving within four hours. The median time spent in the ED was 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Lismore Base Hospital had 9,563 attendances, with a 7.7% increase in arrivals by ambulance. 55.6% of patients left the ED within four hours, with the median time at 3 hours and 35 minutes.