Flu patient rise shock

AN early start to the Flu season has prompted an influx of patients to emergency departments around NSW, including to Auburn Hospital.

Hospital feeling pressure

Figures from the Bureau of Health Information (BHI), showed that in the first quarter of this year, total of Emergency Department (ED) presentations jumped 6.6 per cent at Auburn, with 6,957 patients in the first quarter of 2018 compared with 7,414 in 2019.
Auburn was also one of seven NSW hospitals to experience a jump of more than 20 per cent in the number of ambulance arrivals, with 1,397 bringing in patients between January and March this year, compared to 1,149 in 2018.
Seven NSW hospitals, including Auburn which was down 19.1 per cent, also showed a change of more than 10 percentage points in patients whose treatment started on time.
Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said the BHI data, which also showed longer than average ED treatment wait times for the third consecutive quarter at Westmead Hospital, highlighted the pressure that the NSW health system was under.
However NSW Health deputy secretary Susan Pearce said while there was always room for improvement, some NSW hospitals improved their performance despite large increases in presentations and very unwell patients.
“While many people will remember the 2017 winter, our worst flu season on record, we saw thousands more patients this quarter, and these figures do not even show the full winter months,” she said.
“NSW Health continues to urge people to get their flu shots to protect them during the cold days ahead, because it’s not too late, and the flu jab is an important step in reducing the risk of succumbing to the potentially lethal virus.”