Media Releases

Read all of Paul Scully MP's media releases right here

PATIENTS LEFT LANGUISHING IN WOLLONGONG AND SHELLHARBOUR EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS

September 11, 2019

Independent statistics released today by the Bureau of Health Statistics for the quarter ending June 2019 revealed patients are spending longer waiting in our emergency departments, with Wollongong Hospital ranked third worst in the state.

 

The number of patients waiting too long at Wollongong Hospital’s Emergency Department continues to be at unacceptable levels with 43.7 per cent of patients waiting more than the recommended four hours. Meanwhile 35.2 percent of those presenting at Shellharbour waited in excess of the four hours.

 

Ambulance response times in all categories across NSW– including P1A: Highest priority – got slower with a record 309,734 call-outs. Ten per cent of P2: Urgent patients waited longer than 53 minutes.

 

The NSW health and hospital system is under enormous pressure with the waiting list for surgery blowing out to over 84,000 patients (84,131), with more than 6100 patients on the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District waiting list. This latest figure breaks the record set last quarter, when the waiting list exceeded 80,000 patients for the first time. 

 

The record 84,131 patients were waiting for non-urgent procedures like cataract removal, knee and hip replacements and tonsillectomies.  Of those, ten per cent were waiting longer than 359 days for their surgery.

 

Over the last year there has been a decrease in the number of patients who are having their elective surgery performed on time at Wollongong Hospital, falling to 84.2 per cent, more than 10 per cent lower than the average for other Principal Referral hospitals in NSW.

 

In April 2011, there were just 66,000 patients waiting for elective surgery in NSW.

 

NSW Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said: “The health and hospital system across NSW is under enormous pressure thanks to the neglect of the NSW Liberals and Nationals. The figures we are seeing for Wollongong and Shellharbour are very alarming.”

 

“Our hospitals are clearly now at breaking point thanks to the Government’s neglect and patient care will decline as a result.”

 

“Locals have every right to expect the Government to make sure there’s a strong, well-resourced public health system that’s meeting the needs of our region.”

 

Member for Wollongong Paul Scully said:
“Quarter after quarter the evidence mounts that Wollongong Hospital is under more and more pressure, the growth in patient demand and demands on our health and hospital system is relentless.

 

“Yet, despite evidence of obvious need the Berejiklian Government refuses to fund a $1 million upgrade to Wollongong Hospital’s “ghost ward” which would allow an extra 35 beds or more than 12,700 bed days a year to the system which would make a considerable difference.”

 

“The third largest city in the state deserves much better than the third worst performing Emergency Department in the state.”

 

Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said: “The immense pressure placed on our local hospitals are putting patients and staff at serious risk. Doctors, nurses and allied staff continue to work incredibly hard under increasingly unsafe conditions.”

 

“The Illawarra deserves a public health care system that can meet growing patient demands.”

 

“It is mystifying that in the face of these alarming figures, no urgent action is being taken by the Berejiklian Government.”

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER