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Byron Shire
September 20, 2021

Lismore hospital waiting times the worst

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Lismore Base Hospital. (file pic)
Lismore Base Hospital. (file pic)

Lismore Base Hospital  has the longest waits in emergency departments for a regional NSW hospital, according to the Bureau of Health.

More than a third of patients, 39 per cent, wait longer than four hours in the emergency department.

While Lismore has the longest waits in rural and regional NSW,  it was ranked ninth longest waits in emergency department in the state.

Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said that categories of elective surgery had jumped with elderly patients experiencing long waits for procedures.

He said elective surgery times in Lismore had increased with cataract removal waits increasing from 85 days to 245 days, knee replacements increasing from 307 days to 321; and tonsillectomies have increased from 58 days to 107 days.

Mr Secord was referring to the Bureau of Health Information’s Activity and Performance in NSW Public Hospitals – July to September 2015.

‘Lismore is one of the state’s busiest rural and regional hospitals and it sees 30,000 people in its emergency department each year,’ he said.

‘Statewide, 30 per cent of patients waited longer than four hours in emergency departments.

‘Furthermore, elective surgery waiting lists have grown from 73,063 to 73,397. ‘These are procedures like knee and hip replacements, cataract removal and tonsillectomies.

‘In fact, the Baird Government has admitted that it performed 1,992 fewer elective surgery procedures.’

Mr Secord said these figures clearly show the health and hospital system is under enormous pressure and is just not coping.

Mr Secord praised hard working paramedics, nurses, doctors and other allied health professionals who are in under-resourced hospitals.

The figures are the latest negative blow for the hospital, which was slammed by a storm at the weekend, causing scaffolding to crash onto the maternity ward, trapping 19 people inside.

That incident, and the tipping over of a cement truck late last year, have prompted calls for a full investigation by the Workcover authority.


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  1. With NO OPERATING THEATER at the new Byron Hospital and Tweed Hospital over run, staff over worked and now this …………….says it all doesn’t it. I hope the pollies and developers that have come up with this inspirational NOT hospital get sick when it opens, so that they have to be transported by ambulance to another hospital at least 1 hour away. THIS IS THE WORST DECISION EVER


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