The wait time for surgeries has mostly increased at Orange hospital due to a growing number of people seeking treatment.
The latest data from the Bureau of Health Information for the April-June quarter this year showed that the median time for urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent surgeries at Orange Health Service was 13 days, 56 days and 314 days respectively.
Across the Western NSW Local health District – which includes Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo – the median wait was 15 days, 55 days and 267 days respectively in the same period.
It’s not right that a patient’s postcode can determine their level of care.NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association general secretary Brett Holmes
During the same three months last year, the median wait time for urgent surgeries, semi-urgent and non-urgent surgeries in the Central West was 14 days, 50 days and 274 days respectively.
The data also showed that people are waiting longer than those in the Sydney LHD for all categories of surgeries.
A WNSWLHD spokesperson didn’t provide the reason for the time-gap between the Sydney LHD and the WNSWLHD, but said an average of 99.6 per cent of patients received surgery within the clinically recommended timeframe for their level of urgency.
“Median wait times vary between hospitals for a variety of reasons and is not something that is specifically influenced by rurality,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson admitted that public hospitals in the local health district had performed more surgeries this year after it received additional funds.
Last year, the WNSWLHD received $976,000 in funding for additional surgery as part of the additional $3 million provided by the NSW Government for the increasing access to elective surgery initiative 2017.
“The funding ensured more cataract removal, total hip replacement and total knee replacement procedures were performed,” the spokesperson said.
NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association general secretary Brett Holmes said the year-on-year pressure on public hospitals was taking a toll on nurses and midwives.
“Our regional hospitals are experiencing a higher volume of patients, yet they receive less nursing hours per patient than city hospitals. It’s not right that a patient’s postcode can determine their level of care.”
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