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HomeAustraliaCritically ill overwhelm NSW emergency departments in record numbers

Critically ill overwhelm NSW emergency departments in record numbers


“The pressure on emergency departments just keeps mounting,” Skinner said. “It’s just not sustainable.”


NSW Assistant Secretary-Assistant Professor Matthew Daly said it was worth noting that nearly half of all ED presentations in the quarter were minor cases, with more than 370,000 in the semi-urgent and non-urgent categories.

“We are urging the community to support our hard-working frontline staff by helping our emergency departments and ambulances save lives,” said Daly.

The Perrottet government has committed to opening 25 urgent care clinics to divert people with non-urgent health issues from clogging emergency rooms.

But Skinner said it was a “total myth” that people who couldn’t find a bulk-billing GP were the reason emergency departments were overwhelmed.

“That’s just not the case. It’s part of the problem, but these (BHI) statistics show that people who come to emergency rooms have life-threatening conditions,” Skinner said.

“Triage 1 and Triage 2 patients, by definition, are not treated in an emergency room.”

Overall, one in three of the 773,415 people presenting with NSW EDs waited longer than clinically recommended before starting their treatment in the last quarter of 2022.

More than one in ten patients who were eventually admitted to a hospital ward first spent at least 20 hours in the ED, and half of all urban ED patients exceeded the four-hour norm (48.8 percent).


A total of 67,898 patients left the emergency room with no or before completing treatment, an increase of 31.7 percent (16,342) compared to the pre-pandemic quarter from October to December 2019.

Skinner said: “I am concerned about one in 10 patients waiting more than 20 hours in the ED because we know it causes problems for their continued health, and I am concerned about the people leaving without treatment because We don’t know what happens to them.” . Do they eventually go backwards?”

The pressure on NSW’s operating theaters is relentless, with 99,300 people on waiting lists for elective surgery by the last day of 2022, as hospitals struggle to clear backlogs exacerbated by the suspension of non-urgent and some semi-urgent operations during the height of the pandemic.

Waiting lists for pediatric elective surgery rose to 4185 on the last day of 2022 – 2656 for Children’s Hospital Westmead and 1529 at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick – as the staffing crisis worsens.

A total of 17,074 patients waited longer than clinically recommended – including 1142 children – at the end of 2022 compared to only 1144 patients at the end of pre-pandemic 2019.

About one in four patients who underwent surgery in the past quarter had waited longer than clinically recommended, and one in 10 patients had waited more than 526 days for non-urgent surgery – longer than any quarter since the start of the study. reporting in 2010.

Labor NSW health spokesman Ryan Park said the data showed NSW hospitals are overwhelmed, understaffed and severely neglected.

“We also know that the Liberals’ pay cap on our nurses’ and paramedics’ wages is making it more difficult to recruit and retain people in these essential roles, exacerbating understaffing in our hospitals and exacerbating wait times at our ERs. walk,” said Park.

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