In a mixed year, healthcare services at the Launceston General Hospital and North-West Regional Hospital saw improvements in some services, while others declined.
In the North of the state, the number of people on the outpatient waiting list at the LGH went up by more than 3000 since December 2020, while the North-West Regional Hospital saw an increase of more than 500 patients across the same period.
The rise in the number of outpatients on the waiting list was identified by Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff as an area the state would address in 2022, through its outpatient transformation program.
Conversely, emergency department departures within four hours from the LGH improved slightly over the past 12 months, rising five per cent from 1924 patients in December 2020, to 2061, by November 2021.
Mr Rockliff said the reduction in presentations at the LGH emergency department could, in part, be attributed to services provided through the Newstead Medical Urgent Care Centre.
He said the urgent care centre - set up as part of a 12-month trial - had seen about 965 patients since July, that would have otherwise passed through the LGH.
According to Mr Rockliff, the state had done well to manage emergency department admissions, which had ebbed and flowed in the past three years.
"Last financial year, we had about 170,000 emergency department presentations [statewide], the previous year 153,000 - partially due to COVID - and the previous year before that was about 163,000," he said.
"Essentially in a couple of years, it's increased by 10,000 people on average into our EDs."
Emergency department outcomes in the North-West were less positive as ED departures within four hours at the NWRH declined by two per cent.
Elective surgeries at the LGH across all categories were also reduced by more than 500 from 4694 to 4044 patients waiting for elective surgery.
The number of patients waiting for a surgical procedure at the North-West Regional Hospital also fell, but only slightly.
Adults waiting for general care or for dentures to be provided by Oral Health Services Tasmania experienced a significant increase from 15,222 to 18,310 since December 2020.
Mr Rockliff said the government had committed $5 million to create an additional 20,000 dental appointments state-wide to address the spike in oral health care.
He said 3,850 appointments had been delivered with the support of the private sector between April and October, and expected to see dental services improved early next year - with new staff coming on board.
The $5 million in funding will also be used to purchase equipment to assist patients seeking treatment for dentures, provide patients with efficient services and reduce the waiting time for dentures.
The statewide response time of Ambulance Tasmania also improved slightly, dropping from 14.2 minutes to 13.7 minutes between report and arrival.
Andrew Chounding is The Examiners Health Reporter, if you have a health-related story please email Andrew.email@example.com
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