Alleviating Record Pressure On Our Hospitals

NSW Gov

The latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) quarterly results show NSW hospitals are under unprecedented pressure.

The BHI report reveals 810,201 emergency department presentations in the January to March quarter – up 5.2% from the same quarter last year – the highest on record.

There were 6,677 triage 1 (resuscitation), 123,935 triage 2 (emergency) and 297,456 triage 3 (urgent) presentations to NSW EDs – all the highest on record.

Ambulance activity was also the highest of any quarter since BHI began reporting in 2010, with 383,341 responses. Of these, more than 17,000 were priority 1A or life-threatening cases, another record level of activity.

Despite the record demand for ambulance services, the median response time for life-threatening cases in NSW was 8 minutes, which is within the 10-minute benchmark and a testament to the professionalism of our hard-working paramedics.

Just days after being sworn in, Health Minister Ryan Park established the NSW Surgical Care Taskforce dedicated to improving the delivery of surgical services and reducing the state’s planned surgery wait list.

Throughout the first quarter of 2024, more than 51,000 planned surgeries were performed, with 86.2% of all planned surgeries performed on time – an improvement of 11.2 percentage points when compared with the same quarter in 2023 (75%).

Of these surgeries, almost all urgent planned surgeries (98.7%) were performed on time.

Additionally, the NSW Government has delivered 16 Urgent Care Services since July 2023 to ensure that patients have fast access to the urgent care they need without having to turn to a busy emergency department.

The NSW Government remains committed to alleviating pressure on the state’s busy hospitals through:

  • Boosting staff and treatment spaces;
  • Creating more pathways to care outside our busy hospitals via HealthDirect and urgent care services;
  • Reducing overdue surgeries by safely increasing short stay procedures;
  • Empowering pharmacies to prescribe low complex medications, relieving pressure on our GPs; the Emergency Department and Surgical Care taskforces.

Minister for Health Ryan Park said:

“Our hospitals are confronted with unprecedented pressure.

“And everyone knows that it is becoming more difficult to access a GP.

“But we are undertaking the structural reforms to our health system to ensure our community receives the care they need and deserve – by delivering the single largest boost to our workforce in the history of our health system, and creating more pathways to treatment and care outside the hospital.

“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to our dedicated frontline staff who continued to perform exceptionally well throughout this extremely busy period.”

/Public Release. View in full here.