Patients in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District who needed urgent elective surgery had their procedures performed on time despite a 64.6 per cent increase in demand, according to new figures.
The latest quarterly report from the Bureau of Health Information showed demand on emergency departments across the MLHD also increased from April to June, but more patients in the emergency and non-urgent categories started treatment on time.
MLHD chief executive Jill Ludford said it was a busy quarter for the district's emergency departments, with staff treating more than 40,000 patients, an increase of 11.2 per cent - a total of 4042 patients - compared to the same quarter last year.
"The number of patients presenting in the emergency category increased by 10.4 per cent, but 78.4 per cent of patients were treated on time, a slight improvement on the same quarter last year," Ms Ludford said.
She said there had also been an 18.8 per cent increase in the number of non-urgent presentations to emergency departments for concerns such as minor cuts, ear aches or colds, but 97.2 per cent started treatment on time, which was also an improvement on last year.
At Wagga Base, emergency department presentations were up 10.9 per cent from 10,659 to 11,821, and presentations classified as "triage two" were up by 18.7 per cent from 940 to 1116. There were 106 more patients needing admission to a hospital bed, up by 2.8 per cent, from 3832 to 3938.
There were also big increases in arrivals by ambulance, up 12.7 per cent from 2538 to 2860.
Ms Ludford said there was a 3.7 per cent increase in the number of elective surgery procedures performed at the district's public hospitals, up from 2004 to 2078, with a 64.6 per cent increase in urgent procedures.
"Despite an 64.6 per cent increase in demand for urgent elective surgery across the district, 100 per cent of these urgent procedures were performed on time," Ms Ludford said.
Wagga Base Hospital performed 165 more elective surgery procedures, an increase of 11.7 per cent from 1415 to 1580.
"Emergency departments were once again busier than they were in the same quarter a year ago, with more presentations overall and more patients arriving by ambulance," BHI chief executive Diane Watson said.
"A typical patient in NSW will have waited longer for their treatment to start and spent more time overall in the emergency department. However, there is considerable variation in performance when you look at the results for individual hospitals," she said.