Patient safety compromised in absence of key health data

The health and wellbeing of patients receiving treatment in the ACT could be comprised in the absence key health data, Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said today.

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services in health is expected to be released tomorrow. For the second year in a row, vital health data from 2015-16 will be absent from the report.

In addition, the ACT government has withheld Quarterly Performance reports on the ACT health system’s performance since late 2016.

“Without this data it is impossible to truly know where our health system is failing and where improvements can be made. This leaves patients in very vulnerable position,” Mrs Dunne said.

“From the data that we do have, we know the government’s poor performance is causing what could be unnecessary harm to patients.

“An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report from November 2017 showed the median waiting time in ACT emergency departments was the worst in the country along with the Northern Territory.

“Another AIHW report on elective surgery waiting times showed the ACT was the only jurisdiction in Australia where patients could wait more than a year for elective surgery.

“Furthermore, the ACT finished worst in the nation for ear, eye and nose surgery, general surgery and other surgery.

“The natural correlation to a failing health system is patients not receiving the attention they need, this could amount to prolonged suffering.

“In response, all we have seen from Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris is an inability to accept that with her title comes responsibility,” Mrs Dunne concluded.