SHOALHAVEN District Hospital received a mixed report card for the last three months of 2013.
Bureau of Health Information statistics from October to December showed there had been an increase in treatment times for emergency patients but elective surgery performance had improved to record levels.
The report shows how long patients have to wait for treatment to begin after being assessed by triage staff.
In Shoalhaven patients assessed as emergency cases faced the third longest wait for treatment in NSW.
The report revealed patients waited 11 minutes on average, just ahead of Sutherland on 12 minutes and Royal Prince Alfred on 13 minutes.
In the Shoalhaven that time was one minute longer than the same time the previous year.
By comparison an emergency rated patient at Milton waited six minutes.
At Shoalhaven Hospital urgent patients waited to be treated in 29 minutes on average, up from 26 minutes in 2012.
Semi-urgent patients waited an average of 38 minutes compared to 34 minutes in 2012.
Non-urgent patients waited half an hour, compared to 28 minutes in 2012.
There was better news on the elective surgery front with 100 per cent of urgent and non-urgent cases treated on time, while semi-urgent cases fell just short of the mark at 99 per cent.
On average urgent patients waited 11 days for elective surgery, 64 days for semi-urgent and 240 days for non-urgent surgery.
The report also showed for the three-month period Shoalhaven Hospital had 4770 patients admitted, of which 2487 were unplanned, with 2283 planned-stays.
Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said there needed to be an improvement in treatment times in Shoalhaven’s emergency department, which she was addressing by trying to get the hospital included in the next round of the Whole of Hospital reform process.
“That program has been rolled out in 23 hospitals across the state, which streamlines the existing work and processes to improve efficiencies,” she said.
“I have contacted the Minister for Health Jillian Skinner to request Shoalhaven Hospital be included in the next roll out of the scheme.
“The hospitals taking part have experienced dramatic improvement and we want to be part of the next stage.
“Our ED times were among the bottom few and we don’t want to be there again.”
But she said the reduction in elective surgery waiting lists had been encouraging.
“Patients are receiving elective surgery at Shoalhaven Hospital quicker than ever before,” Mrs Hancock said.
“I am delighted that elective surgery is being provided at Shoalhaven to meet the growing needs of our population and more patients are receiving their elective surgery on time.
“Shoalhaven Hospital has dramatically improved its elective surgery on-time performance meaning almost all local patients are getting their surgeries within the time recommended by their surgeon.
“This is an incredible achievement by hard working staff at Shoalhaven Hospital.”