Bunbury hospital has longest wait

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

Wait times at Bunbury Hospital have continued to be the longest in regional WA, a title it has held since January.

According to figures released by the Department of the Health, the percentage of emergency department attendances with length of episode (LOE) of four hours or less for June is down 8.1 per cent in comparison to the same time last year.

The 8.1 per cent decrease was the biggest recorded so far this year, but fits with the general trend for 2019 with the average percentage being down 4.5 per cent compared to the first half of 2018.

A WA Country Health Service spokeswoman said the service knew more people had been attending the hospital’s ED and the earlier start to the flu season had put further demand on the facility.

“Our number one priority will always be patient safety and we closely monitor activity and implement strategies to manage the increased demand,” she said.

“We remain committed to treating patients at Bunbury Health Campus in a timely manner and evolving our services to cater for the growing needs of Bunbury and the South West.”

While Bunbury had the longest wait times, Derby Hospital claimed the top honours for the shortest, with an average emergency department attendances with LOE of four hours or less for June of 96.3 per cent.

According to the WACHS spokeswoman, part of the service’s evolution will come as a result of the State Government’s recent $22 million commitment to upgrade the hospital.

“We aren’t shying away from the fact patient numbers and patient acuity have increased and welcome the Government’s commitment,” she said.

“This funding will allow us to plan into the future and importantly, allow us to undertake the first phase of redevelopment including reconfiguration of our ED fast-track area and the establishment of an acute medical assessment unit.”

The figures for July are expected to be released in mid-August.

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