ACT Still Facing Longest Emergency Room Wait Times: Report | Canberra weather



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Emergency department wait times have exploded again in ACT, as patients in the nation’s capital still face the longest wait times in the country. Emergency department wait times in the territory for 2020-2021 are considerably higher than national averages and have even increased from the previous year. The median wait time for emergency departments from ACT was 48 minutes, which is equivalent to the time that 50 percent of patients are seen. The national median was less than half at 18 minutes, according to the latest report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. ACT’s wait time was much higher than that of NSW, where the median wait time was 14 minutes. The second worst performing jurisdiction was Western Australia, but their wait time was still far less than ACT’s at 31 minutes. ACT’s wait time was also higher than last year – in 2019-2020 it was 44 minutes. Only 48% of ACT patients were seen on time in 2020-2021. Nationally, 71 percent of patients were seen on time. NSW had the highest proportion of patients seen on time at 79 percent. Poor ACT wait times are even more glaring when the 90th percentile wait time is taken into account – this is the time frame during which 90 percent of patients were seen. The 90th percentile wait time for ACT was 181 minutes, a peak from 167 minutes the previous year. The national average is 102 minutes. The shortest wait time was Queensland at 80 minutes and the second longest was South Australia at 140 minutes. The annual report also showed how ACT’s performance has declined over the past five years. In 2016-17, the median wait time for emergency departments in Canberra was 30 minutes and the 90th percentile wait time was 116 minutes. MORE ACT POLICY NEWS: Five years ago, 62 percent of Canberra emergency department patients were seen on time. It came after recent data revealed that ACT failed to meet key elective surgery goals last year. ACT aimed to perform more than 16,000 elective surgeries last year, but there were only 15,324, according to ACT Health’s annual report for 2020-2021. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s annual report on emergency department care showed that presentations to public emergency departments rebounded nationwide in 2019-2020, after declining the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 8.8 million emergency department presentations last year. Part of the increase is due to clinics set up across the country to assess people who may be infected with COVID-19. “After a constant annual growth of 3.2% between 2014-15 and 2018-19, and a decrease of 1.4% in 2019-2020, referrals to emergency departments of public hospitals increased by 6.9% in 2020-21. back in fashion with the pre-pandemic years, â€said AIHW spokesperson Dr Adrian Webster. Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:





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