Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle is encouraging Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service to keep improving following the latest comparative hospital performance data published in newspapers for the first time this week.
Mr McArdle said they were aware hospital activity within the Hospital and Health Service had increased by 6.5 per cent over the same period last year, but important national targets still had to be met.
“Even in the face of increasing demand, the Sunshine Coast has surpassed the National Emergency Access Target of 77 per cent, with 78 per cent of patients spending four hours or less in the ED in the April quarter,” Mr McArdle said.
Emergency departments on the Sunshine Coast have seen a nine per cent increase in presentations; or 6,500 more people presenting to emergency departments in the first nine months of the 2012/13 year.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the Sunshine Coast’s performance is an improvement from the July-September period in 2012.
“Only 66 per cent of patients spent less than four hours in the ED for that reporting period; which didn’t meet the 2012 benchmark,” Mr Springborg said.
“So they have managed to not only increase by 12 per cent, but also break through the threshold to meet the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT),” Mr Springborg said.
While the Coast didn’t meet any of the benchmarks for elective surgery or outpatient department waiting lists, Mr Springborg was confident the Health Service would improve.
“I understand a lot of work is underway to help Sunshine Coast become more innovative and efficient in the way they do business, including the creation of new units and clinics.”
“So I would expect the impact of these initiatives would start to be reflected in performance data in the near future.
“I also applaud their move to introduce Nurse Practitioners into the Emergency Department; this position brings greater capacity and flexibility to the environment, and gives nurses a great opportunity to up-skill, as we’ve seen in other departments in the state.”
Mr Springborg said he looked forward to the opening of the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital in December, which would enable the Health Service to examine new ways of delivering services, for the benefit of the wider community.