ACT Still Worst While the Rest of the Country Improves On Ed Waiting Times

The ACT continues to flounder as the worst in the country on emergency department waiting times according to the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson said today.

“The AIHW Australian hospital statistics 2012-13 Emergency department care report shows, the average wait time in the ACT has worsened from 38 minutes to 44. Nationally, average waiting times have improved from 21 minutes down to 19. The lengthy ACT wait also compares with a much lower average wait time of 17 minutes just across the border in NSW,” Mr Hanson said.

“The total number of patients seen by the ACT’s emergency departments has only risen by 0.5% in the last year, but the portion of patients seen on time has again fallen to the worst in the country. It’s down from 55% to 51%, which compares with the national average of 73%.

“It’s not good enough for ACT patients in vulnerable situations to be waiting longer than the rest of the country for essential hospital care. I again call for a full performance audit of our emergency departments by the Auditor-General.

“The inescapable fact is, this Government simply cannot get the job done.

“The Chief Minister needs to take responsibility for making Canberrans wait longer than they ever have when they’re most in need of critical care,” Mr Hanson concluded.