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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 415. Updated Tuesday, 24 June 2014

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States fall short on hospital targets

The COAG Reform Council's second report on the National Partnership on Improving Public Hospitals shows that despite some improvements in performance, most States have failed to meet agreed targets for elective surgery and hospital emergency departments.

Chairman of the COAG Reform Council, John Brumby said that the hospitals report assessed whether specific targets had been met under the National Partnership Agreement.

Mr Brumby said each State and Territory had negotiated its own specific targets with the Commonwealth and some targets were higher than others.

"In emergency departments, while NSW, Victoria and Western Australia partially achieved their targets, no State or Territory fully achieved its target for the proportion of people treated, discharged or referred within four hours," he said.

COAG reports on EDs, elective surgery

"In turn, this means it is almost impossible for any State or Territory to achieve the agreed 2015 performance outcome."

Mr Brumby said for elective surgery, the ACT, NSW and South Australia performed well, with the ACT achieving eight of nine benchmark targets, NSW achieving seven of nine and South Australia achieving six of nine.

"However, other States and Territories did not perform well, and results in Tasmania and Queensland were particularly concerning with both States achieving just one agreed benchmark," he said.

Mr Brumby said the Council's report assessed Governments' performance against elective surgery and emergency department targets.

He said the emergency department targets agreed to by all States and Territories were that by 2015, more than 90 per cent of patients must be admitted to hospital, referred on or discharged within four hours.

Mr Brumby said the elective surgery targets were for the proportion of patients seen within clinically recommended times, and for reducing average waiting periods that go over those times.

He said Governments were also required to ensure that the 10 per cent of people who had waited the longest beyond the recommended time were seen within a year.

National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services: Performance report for 2013 is available at this PS News link.

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