Waiting times in Katoomba Hospital’s emergency department have improved for seriously ill patients, according to figures released last week.
The Bureau of Health Information quarterly report for October-December 2016 showed that the most urgent cases (people with symptoms such as chest pain or severe burns) were seen within seven minutes of arrival, the same as the corresponding period in 2015.
It also showed that 90 per cent of these patients were seen within 18 minutes, an improvement on the 21 minutes of the previous year.
In the slightly less urgent cases (moderate blood loss, dehydration), patients waited 17 minutes before receiving treatment, three minutes better than in 2015
Waiting times for semi-urgent patients (ear aches, sprained ankles) were slightly higher at 28 minutes compared with 27 minutes in the previous year. And non-urgent patients (small cuts or abrasions) waited 32 minutes for treatment, four minutes longer than the same quarter in 2015.
Transfers from ambulances also improved, with 90 per cent of patients being delivered to emergency within 25 minutes, better than 2015’s time of 27 minutes.
Katoomba’s overall result showed 78.2 per cent of people spent four hours or less in the emergency department, slightly higher than the state average of 74.3 per cent.
A total of 4,203 patients presented to the emergency department in the three-month period, slightly fewer than the 4,279 in the corresponding 2015 quarter.