As more people flood through the doors of South Coast emergency departments, hospitals are struggling to treat the increasing number of patients on time.
According to the latest health snapshot, just 65.2 per cent of patients left Shoalhaven District Hospital ED within the state government's four-hour benchmark from October to December 2018 - down from 68.2 per cent for the same quarter in 2017.
The longer waits did coincide with a spike in presentations, however, with more than 10,000 patients visiting the ED during the three month period, 475 more presentations than the same time in 2017.
The Bureau of Health Information’s (BHI) Healthcare Quarterly report revealed a 13.8 per cent jump in triage emergency patients at Shoalhaven hospital. The median time to treatment for emergency patients was 11 minutes, which was the same as the 2017 figures. However, state-wide emergency patients waited just eight minutes to been by staff.
Shoalhaven District Hospital also failed to keep up with NSW averages when it came to 'urgent' patients. Urgent patients, those suffering from things like moderate blood loss and dehydration, began treatment 29 minutes after arrival, compared to the state average of 20 minutes.
More than 1200 non-urgent patients began treatment at Shoalhaven Hospital within 24 minutes of arrival, shaving a minute off the same period the year before.
More than 930 elective surgeries were completed in the last three months of last year, 63 more than in the same period 2017.
The majority of elective surgeries fell into the 'non-urgent' category, making up 41 per cent of the patients. Just over 87 per cent of non-urgent patients were seen within the government's 365 day benchmark.
Over 98 per cent of urgent patients were operated on within the recommended 30 day timeframe. In the same period in 2017, 100 per cent of patients were seen in the recommended timeframe.
Milton Ullladulla Hospital improved on its time to treatment for emergency patients. In October to December 2018, 332 patients were seen, up from 292 the previous year. Despite the increase in patients, time to treatment fell from seven to six minutes. The hospital beat the state average of eight minutes.
Over 80 per cent of the 3562 patients spent less than four hours in the ED, which fell from 87 per cent in the previous period.
Just 20 elective non-urgent surgeries were carried out at Milton Ulladulla Hospital from October to December last year, all of which were undertaken within the recommended 365 days.