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Australia: 2019 Public Hospital Report Card Released

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The Australian Medical Association (AMA) released its 2019 Public Hospital Report Card. The AMA Public Hospital Report Card assesses the performance of public hospitals year on year, and their capacity to meet the community’s need for hospital services. It uses data published by the Commonwealth to report on core measures of hospital performance. The Report Card reflects the experiences of the AMA doctors who work in public hospitals every day.

Key findings of the Report Card include: static bed ratios for the general population and a 24-year low of hospital beds per 1000 people aged 65 years and older; longer waiting times for patients in emergency departments, with only 64 per cent of urgent presentations seen within the recommended 30-minute timeframe in 2017-18; nationally, more than a third of the almost three million patients who presented to an emergency department in need of urgent treatment waited longer than clinically recommended; and in three of the eight States and Territories, about one in five patients who need elective surgery within 90 days are waiting longer than clinically-recommended. Emergency treatment times for ‘urgent’ patients have gone backwards in most States and Territories. None have performed substantially better than last year. Elective surgery is not much better, with most jurisdictions performing worse or remaining static.

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