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Southern NSW hospitals on top of emergency waiting times

Genevieve Jacobs 7 January 2019

Southern NSW Health District hospitals treated 80 per cent of emergency patients within benchmark times. File photo.

Southern NSW Local Health district hospitals are pointing with pride to their emergency treatment record over a typically busy holiday period.

In contrast to ongoing concerns over the ACT’s poor record with emergency waiting times, Southern NSW region Chief Executive, Andrew Newton, says that 80 per cent of patients in local regional hospitals were seen, treated and discharged within the four-hour benchmark.

On New Year’s Day, almost 450 patients were treated in Emergency Departments across Southern NSW Local Health District, including 50 arriving by ambulance.

The results are in line with recent findings from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare which revealed last month that NSW is the only jurisdiction to meet the target benchmark for all triage categories. NSW also has the shortest median waiting time for patients starting clinical care in the ED at just 15 minutes, compared to 46 minutes in the ACT.

“Our Emergency Departments are doing a magnificent job to manage the busy Christmas, New Year and holiday period,” Mr Newton said. “Not only are we leading the country in many ED performance measures but we have improved our performance for the community in our Health District.”

However, Mr Newton reminded patients that where their illness is not serious or life-threatening, they should see their local GP or medical centre. “For any advice or concerns, the public should remember that Healthdirect is always able to assist with medical advice,” he added.

“In the case of a health emergency, people should call Triple Zero (000) but for other health concerns, Healthdirect is an excellent source of assistance. Anyone can receive health advice from registered nurses on the line, at any time of day or night,” he said.

Mr Newton said it was also important to make sure medications and prescriptions are also in order before heading off on holidays, and urged families to keep the 24-hour Healthdirect helpline in their phones.

Further measures for good health and wellbeing during the holiday season include:

  • Moderating the consumption of alcohol during gatherings and celebrations;
  • Visiting your GP before going away to ensure you have an adequate supply of prescription medications;
  • Taking additional care on the roads and when participating in outdoor recreational activities;
  • Keeping a close eye on elderly relatives with impaired mobility in unfamiliar surroundings;
  • Maintaining regular contact with the socially isolated;
  • Taking precautions on very hot days, such as maintaining hydration, minimising physical activity, wearing light clothing, avoiding alcohol, and staying indoors between 11 am and 5 pm, ideally in air conditioning;
  • Supervising and keeping a watchful eye on children, particularly around water.

SOUTHERN NSW LOCAL HEALTH DISTRICT Tel. 02 6150 7701 A/Hours. 0467 819 506.
Healthdirect Australia – providing expert health advice 24 hours a day to NSW residents – Tel. 1800 022 222

Original Article published by Genevieve Jacobs on the RiotACT.

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