Waiting times in Western Sydney are alarming Labor says

Shadow Minister for Western Sydney Greg Warren, said the figures were alarming.
Shadow Minister for Western Sydney Greg Warren, said the figures were alarming.

The latest Bureau of Health Information report has revealed patients in Western Sydney are waiting longer than the rest of NSW for medical care when presenting to hospital.

According to the data for the January to March quarter, median wait times in the Western Sydney LHD blew out to three hours and 38 minutes - almost an hour longer than the statewide median.

More than 20,600 people presented to the ED during the three months - an average of more than 275 people a day.

Shadow Minister for Western Sydney Greg Warren said the report paints a grim picture of Campbelltown Hospital.

"Less than 54 per cent of patients left the ED within the desired four hour period," he said.

"There were also 2422 people stuck on the elective surgery waiting list - an increase of 282 from the same period 12 months prior."

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced this week an extra $388 million to get thousands of elective surgery patients into operating theatres faster after COVID-19 restrictions delayed their procedures.

"We are working as fast as we can to fast track those patients whose surgery has been disrupted, " Mr Hazzard said.

Mr Warren said the quarterly report reflected poorly on the NSW government.

"Let's be crystal clear - the dedicated, passionate and hard-working staff at Campbelltown Hospital are not to blame for these dire results," he said.

"The staff do the best they can with the lack of resources, support and funding afforded to them by the state government. "When almost half of the patients presenting to the ED aren't leaving within the desired four hour period, you know there is a significant problem."

Mr Warren said staff numbers at the hospital need to be addressed.

"The number of people presenting to the ED has risen by about 2330 people each month since 2011," he said.

"But there has not been an increase in staff numbers, resources or support to match that growth.

"The NSW Liberals have a lot to answer for given their neglect of Campbelltown Hospital over the past nine years."

Bureau of Health Information chief executive Dr Diane Watson said the quarter the report focused on was an extraordinary time for the NSW healthcare system.

"In early January, the bushfire crisis was at its peak and it continued through that month, becoming the most devastating bushfire season on record. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic would go on to dramatically and rapidly change the world we live in well before the end of March," Dr Watson said.

This story Waiting times in Western Sydney are alarming Labor says first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.