In Health

Queensland Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg

Latest Hospital Performance Data Put Under The Microscope

Victor P Taffa

Queenslanders are spending less time waiting at hospital emergency departments (EDs) according to the latest health performance data.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the second quarterly release of performance tables to be published by Queensland Health showed a 12 % improvement in the number of ED patients whose length of stay is under four hours.

“Since hospital boards were introduced on 1 July 2012, patients have noticed continuing improvements in the time they’re waiting in hospital EDs.” Mr. Springborg said.

“The Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service was the stand-out achiever in the April – June 2013 quarter.”

“Despite the state-wide impact of Commonwealth funding cuts in the six months to June, Gold Coast EDs achieved a 20 % improvement in the number of patients processed within four hours, compared to July – September 2012.”

“However, there is still work to be done. Our elective surgery and specialist outpatient’s clinic waiting lists were affected by the Commonwealth cuts and saw a 3% decrease and just a 2% increase respectively.”

As part of state-wide health reforms outlined in the Government’s ‘Blueprint for Better Healthcare’, Queensland publishes a wider range of hospital performance data than any other Australian state.

It is the only State to compare the performance of its Hospital and Health Services each quarter in newspapers.

Mr. Springborg said the printed data compares elective surgery, emergency departments, outpatient’s waiting times and other key performance indicators.

“This is all about transparency, so Queenslanders can decide for themselves how well their local Hospital and Health Service is performing.” Mr. Springborg said.

“Positive achievements in EDs will flow-on to generate improvements in other areas of our hospitals.”

“As a whole, Queensland Health must continue to improve its performance if national emergency access and elective surgery targets are to be achieved by mid-2014.”

“Under Commonwealth-State agreements, these goals must be realised to maximise our share of Commonwealth funding for Queensland Hospitals.” Mr. Springborg said.

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