State's health system gets busier

TASMANIA'S health system continues to get busier, with the latest Department of Health progress chart showing increased emergency department presentations, ambulance call-outs and elective surgeries this year.

The quarterly chart, released yesterday, found that admissions to the Launceston General Hospital had jumped by 13.1 per cent in the three months to September 30, compared with the same period last year.

Emergency department presentations increased by 0.4 per cent at the LGH and 7.2 per cent at the Royal Hobart Hospital, but dropped at North-West hospitals.

The LGH reached national benchmarks on treating resuscitation (category 1), emergency (category 2) and non-urgent (category 5) patients within the recommended timeframe.

The number of category 2 patients seen in time improved significantly, from 55.7 per cent last year to 85.5 this year.

However, the hospital did not meet benchmarks for urgent and semi-urgent patients.

The hospital also missed the target for emergency department patients seen within four hours, with all hospitals recording a decline for the September 2013 quarter.

All hospitals increased the number of people admitted from the elective surgery waiting list, with a 7.3 per cent rise at the LGH.

However, the LGH waiting list for elective surgery also increased, by 3.4 per cent.

The median wait time for elective surgery rose by five days at the RHH, four days at the LGH, six days at the NWRH and seven days at the MCH.

Ambulance Tasmania had 19,456 call-outs in the three months to September 30 - 308 more than the same period last year - but response times remained the same.

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