Billions of dollars in health cuts have left Gosford and Wyong Hospitals in breach of national targets for treating emergency patients, according to Shadow Minister for the Central Coast Ms Linda Burney.
The new Bureau of Health Information report for the July-September quarter states that Gosford Hospital has the fi fth-slowest performing emergency department anywhere in NSW. Under the national target, hospitals must treat 81% of emergency patients within four hours. Hurt by Federal and State budget cuts, Gosford is treating just 54% of patients within four hours while Wyong Hospital is also well short of target, treating just 65% of patients within four hours. Central Coast Local Health District is the secondslowest performing region for emergency surgery. Ms Burney visited Gosford Hospital on Tuesday, December 9, with Labor candidate for Gosford Ms Kathy Smith and Labor candidate for Terrigal Mr Jeff Sundstrom to meet with local nurses and hear fi rsthand about the funding pressure they are under. “Our nurses and ambos on the Central Coast save lives every day – but they can only do their job if Tony Abbott and Mike Baird do theirs and stop the funding cuts to health,” Ms Burney said. “Mike Baird has cut $3 billion from health over the past three years. “The Abbott budget slashed another $15 billion, and now the Liberals want a $7 GP tax. “Every minute counts in an emergency and for nearly half of all patients to be waiting more than four hours at Gosford is unacceptable. “There are not enough nurses and not enough beds. “If Labor is elected in March, our fi rst act will be to stand up to Tony Abbott’s $15 billion cuts to NSW health,” said Ms Burney. Ms Smith went on to add that the local population consists of a higher than average number of elderly people. “These are the very people who call on emergency services in life or death situations,” she said. “With a high proportion of young families also living in the area, it is life threatening and unacceptable for these long waiting times to continue,” said Ms Smith. Mr Sundstrom noted that over the past quarter, elective surgery waits at Gosford Hospital had blown out for ear, nose and throat surgery from 89 to 334 days; knee replacements from 293 to 311 days and tonsillectomies from 161 to 345 days. “Waits for elective surgery on the Coast are among the longest anywhere in Australia,” Mr Sundstrom said. “Hospital cuts affect people. “If you’re stuck waiting up to a year for a knee replacement, it can ruin your life if you can’t get in for surgery. “A one year wait for a kid to get their tonsils out at Gosford is outrageous. “The wait is just three months in Victoria and two months in Queensland – why so long on the Coast?”
Media release, 9 Dec 2014
Linda Burney MP