You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

SA hospital waiting times not good enough

AAP logoAAP 29/07/2016

South Australia's hospital emergency rooms are among the slowest in the country, despite the state having a higher than average number of beds, a national report says.

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows the percentage of emergency patients in South Australia seen on time - that is within 10 minutes - was just 69 per cent in 2014-15.

The only region behind SA was the Northern Territory, where 62 per cent of emergency patients were seen on time.

This compares to 83 per cent in Western Australia and Tasmania, 82 per cent in NSW, 80 per cent in Victoria, 78 per cent in the ACT and 77 per cent in Queensland.

South Australia's poor ranking is despite the state boasting 2.9 hospital beds for every 1000 people compared to the national average of 2.6.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says there is no denying the state's hospital system needs reform but the government's Transforming Health initiative is a step in the right direction.

Emergency Department of Flinders Medical Centre © Provided by AAP Emergency Department of Flinders Medical Centre

"There is nobody who thinks we can keep going on with our hospital system the way it is. It is an incredibly expensive system," Mr Weatherill told FiveAA on Friday.

"Obviously we are committed to still paying the dough, but we just want it also to deliver great results.

"If you've got a series of emergency departments in a series of hospitals what you get is this perpetual interruption of the flow of work throughout the hospital.

"Transforming Health is really about having centres of excellence in certain places where you do things really well, really quickly and efficiently and you use other hospitals for other purposes."

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said a more centralised system would only make it harder for people to know where to go in a medical emergency.

"People don't know what services are going to be offered at what emergency department at what time of the day. It's causing confusion," he told FiveAA.

"It's going from bad to worse. We're the worst in the nation, the worst state in the nation, but most worryingly, we're going backwards."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon