Six-hour wait in emergency

THE average waiting time to be admitted to the Bundaberg Hospital emergency department has risen to six hours, according to the latest Queensland Health report card.

The September quarter average wait compares to a wait time at the end of the June quarter of five-and-a-half hours.

Beth Norton, Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District northern cluster manager, said more pressure had been added to the tradtionally busy flu season due to the swine flu pandemic.

“There can be a number of reasons why patients spend longer in an emergency department before being admitted to a bed. Access block is only one reason. The patient also may be waiting on other diagnostic tests and pathology tests,” Ms Norton said.

Ms Norton said that paitents waiting in emergency were constantly monitored by doctors and nurses.

The September quarter also saw an increase in the number of paitents visiting the emergency centre with 9106 paitents compared to 8859 in the June quarter.

There was good news for the hospital though with no paitents requiring urgent surgery waiting for longer than 30 days.

At the end of this year’s June quarter, 12 paitents were waiting more than 30 days for urgent surgery.

There was also a decrease in the number of paitents waiting for semi-urgent surgery with two paitents waiting longer than 90 days compared with 13 paitents at the end of the June quarter.

The report card also found a 94% rate of patient satisfaction.

The state average of satisfaction is 95%.



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