Hospitals struggling in Omicron Surge, New South Wales: Report


According to new data, patients in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, have been waiting longer for ambulance and emergency department care as the state worked on a variant of COVID-19 Omicron.

According to the latest Health Information Agency (BHI) quarterly report, the health system is under stress as non-urgent selective surgery is suspended and the government relaxes most public health restrictions between January and March. It was done.

During the period, about 734,704 people attended the emergency department, down 2.8% from the pre-pandemic period of 2019, but well above the level five years ago.

The number of people hospitalized from ED decreased by 15.6% from pre-pandemic levels, and those people generally waited longer.

One-quarter of people waited within 4 hours, but 1 in 10 waited for more than 18 hours and 29 minutes on ED. This is an increase from 13 hours and 24 minutes before the pandemic.

Approximately 326,544 ambulance responses were received during the period, an increase of 6.1% from before the pandemic.

Demand for ambulances has steadily increased over the past five years, with a record number of top-priority cases attending.

It took an average of 8.8 minutes for the ambulance to reach the highest priority call. This is the longest response time since 2010.

Within 10 minutes of the benchmark, only 60.2% of the responses to high priority calls were reached. This is the worst result since 2010.

It took an average of 15.7 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. This is the result of the longest wait time reported by BHI.

According to the AMA, the report reveals that all parts of the public hospital system are exposed to tensions and reforms and that sustainable funding is needed to avoid the impending health crisis.

“What is really worrisome is the long-term trend we see in increasing the number of patients in need of treatment and the ability of the healthcare system to meet that demand,” said AMANSW President. Dr. Michael Bonning said.

“We have lost our position on almost every target,” Bonynge said.

During this period, non-urgent elective surgery was interrupted to ease demand for the system.

In March 2022, 100,980 people were waiting for elective surgery. It is close to the peak of 101,024 in mid-2020, about 18,627 longer than recommended.

Demand for elective surgery decreased by 27.8 percent from pre-pandemic levels.

One in ten patients who underwent non-urgent surgery waited for more than 100 days a year.

Health Minister Susan Pierce said this was one of the most difficult times in the pandemic and health care workers were “notable.”

‚ÄúThere was a time like never before, from the huge number of cases of COVID-19 to the thousands of staff. We would like to thank the community for their understanding and patience in the many challenges we faced. I think. “

The emergency department continues to be under great pressure from cases of COVID-19 and the proliferation of influenza infections that affect staff numbers.

These issues were addressed by increasing the number of beds and placing clinical staff in high-demand care areas.

The government has invested $ 485.5 million ($ 334 million) in rapid surgery since the suspension of elective surgery was eased, Pierce said.

The government plans to hire 10,148 full-time staff in hospitals over a four-year period as part of the upcoming NSW budget.

Labor health spokesman Ryan Park said the report shows that the health care system is at stake.

“The government’s recent announcement of a workforce buildup will take years for us to profit, while some people are suffering from their mismanagement,” he said.

AAP

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Australian Associated Press is an Australian news agency.