Waiting time for patients improves

THE Launceston General Hospital is doing better than the national average in treating non-urgent patients at its accident and emergency department.

Information posted on the federal government-initiated MyHospital website yesterday showed that the LGH treated 91 per cent of its non-urgent patients within the required two hours, compared with the national average of 89 per cent.

The MyHospital figures showed that, despite shutting several theatres and more than 50 beds because of budget cuts, the LGH also improved on its own performance from the previous year.

In 2010-11, 88 per cent of LGH non-urgent patients were seen in the required amount of time which was the same as the national average that year.

The major Northern acute care hospital did not fare so well in its other areas of accident and emergency service.

It managed to see 52 per cent of emergency patients in the required time of 10 minutes compared with a national average of 80 per cent.

Fifty-three per cent of LGH urgent category patients were seen within the required 30 minutes but it was well below the national average of 66 per cent.

Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said that the data showed areas of improvement in Tasmania's public hospital system in challenging times.

``I am particularly pleased with our emergency departments,'' Ms O'Byrne said.

Both North-West hospitals performed at or above the national average in all urgency categories and the Royal Hobart Hospital improved its performance on the previous year.

``The LGH managed to hold its emergency department performance steady or improve on the previous year in all urgency categories despite budget pressures and the fact that services were being delivered from what was effectively a construction site,'' Ms O'Byrne said.

Victoria's Williamstown Hospital in Melbourne took the mantle nationally in the latest MyHospital data as the highest achiever for processing patients through emergency, with 93 per cent of patients leaving emergency within four hours.

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