Waiting times at Campbelltown Hospital’s emergency department have come under fire but a hospital spokeswoman says staff are responding well to an increase in patients.
Bureau of Health Information (BHI) data has shown more than half of patients (58.2 per cent) who presented to the Campbelltown emergency department in 2017 left within a four-hour period.
Although that figure is well below the state average of 75 per cent.
Campbelltown MP Greg Warren (Labor) said there was significant room for improvement in Campbelltown Hospital’s emergency department.
“It’s called an emergency department because patients that present believe their medical situation is urgent,” he said.
“Waiting around in the department for four hours or more hardly seems like an urgent response.
“Campbelltown Hospital’s emergency department situation can only be described as disastrous.”
Mr Warren said the hospital’s staff needed suitable support to provide appropriate treatment to patients in a timely manner.
“Staff at the hospital do their best but they can only do so much with inadequate resources and insufficient numbers,” he said.
However, a Campbelltown Hospital spokeswoman watered down Mr Warren’s criticism and claimed the hospital’s waiting periods had improved this year.
The spokeswoman said BHI figures showed there had been a 4.8 per cent increase of people leaving with a four-hour period from January to March 2018 compared to that period last year.
She said the hospital boasted this figure despite there being a rise in patients visiting the emergency department.
“There were significant increases across all categories of patients, particularly those who were sicker, required resuscitation and emergency or urgent care,” the spokeswoman said.
“There was also an extra 261 patients who arrived by ambulance during that period.
“Of these patients, 94.4 per cent had their care transferred from ambulance to emergency department staff within the 30-minute benchmark. This was an excellent result during a busy period.”
The state government pledged $632 million of funding for Campbelltown Hospital during its June 2017 budget, which included plans to expand the emergency department.
The hospital spokeswoman said that funding boost would help staff respond to an increasing demand for emergency care.
“The Campbelltown Hospital redevelopment will see an increase in the number of emergency treatment spaces as well as more beds in the emergency short stay unit,” she said.
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