EMERGECNY IN DEMAND
Presentations at Toowoomba Hospital increase
STAFF in Toowoomba Hospital’s Emergency Department are working hard to meet an increase in demand.
Presentations at the Toowoomba Hospital ED jumped 3.3 per cent in the 12 months to March 31, 2018 as 52,751 people passed through the doors, however a greater percentage are being treated within recommended time frames.
“A higher percentage of patients were seen within clinically recommended timeframes than during the previous year,” Toowoomba Hospital executive director Shirley-Anne Gardiner said.
TOOWOOMBA patients needing orthopedic or ear, nose and throat elective surgeries are more likely to wait for their operations than those needing other elective surgeries.
Queensland Health data for the 12 months to March 31, 2018, shows the city has one of the state’s best surgical performances with almost all patients being treated within clinically recommended timeframes.
The data shows 5195 elective surgeries were performed in the year.
The Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service said 98.1 per cent of ENT and 99.8 per cent of orthopedic patients were treated on time.
In May 2018, Toowoomba Hospital provided a recordedbreaking 511 elective and 384 emergency surgeries.
The data also shows the hospital exceeds the State Government’s health target of 98 per cent for category one patients – the most urgent – and 95 per cent for categories two and three.
Patients can expect to wait 17 days if they need urgent operations while the wait time blows out to 49 days for category two patients and 300 days for category three patients.
Toowoomba Hospital executive director Shirley-Anne Gardiner said the city’s increasing population was placing extra demand on the hospital as was the need for more complex surgeries and unscheduled patients coming from the emergency department.
Photo: Johnny Greig
‘‘ MEASURES HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED TO ACCOMMODATE GROWING DEMAND, INCLUDING OPERATING ON WEEKENDS AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND OUTSOURCING OPTIONS.
“Measures have been developed to accommodate growing demand, including operating on weekends and public holidays and outsourcing options,” Ms Gardiner said.
Toowoomba Hospital is working to reduce elective surgery waiting lists by constantly monitoring to ensure optimum utilisation of resources, including a weekly meeting to maximise communication and identify issues or potential solutions.
“Focusing on start times,
turnaround times, reducing patient failures to attend appointments, reducing patients cancelling on the day of appointments, promoting day case surgery activity.”
IN DEMAND: Elective surgery demand keeps local surgeons busy.