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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Lismore emergency waiting times among worst in Australia

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Chris Dobney

The Lismore Base Hospital has one of the worst emergency department waiting times in the country, it has been revealed today on the federal government’s myhospitals website.

The website shows that 47 per cent of all patients departed the emergency department within four hours of arrival, compared to its national peer group performance of 63 per cent.

Of admitted patients, just 13 per cent departed the emergency department within four hours of arrival, compared to its national peer group performance of 24 per cent.

And of patients being discharged, 66 per cent departed the emergency department within four hours of arrival, compared to its national peer group performance of 78 per cent.

Seven of the 10 worst-performing hospitals are within NSW but the results were excused by state health minister Jillian Skinner on the grounds that it was the first time the state had participated in the national survey.

‘Some of the states have been working on this for years so naturally they’re way ahead of us,’ she told ABC radio news this morning. ‘We’re just newcomers to this target and we’re investing in it.’

The minister this week made a lightning tour to the north coast ahead of the revelations to make a series of funding announcements for hospitals around the region, most of which were re-announcements of funding outlined in the state budget in June.

The woeful statistics also come just weeks after the region’s senior health bureaucrat, Chris Crawford, finally drew a line under the department’s attempts to withdraw the overnight emergency doctor from Mullumbimby Hospital after a hard-fought campaign by the hospital’s doctors and nurses and the local community.

The statistics are collected as part of a federal government initiative to enforce national benchmarks across a range of areas.

It was previously revealed that Lismore Base Hospital performed particularly poorly in the area of infection control, although this has improved in recent audits.

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  1. Having been a recent patient (not client) at LBH, I can vouch for those figures. I waited far longer than 4 hours in ED before being found a proper ward.

    And yet Chris Crawford is only interested in how people address each other – no more ‘mates’ or ‘loves’!

    Some cognitive dissonance there methinks.


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