Healthy signs for hospital

LATROBE Regional Hospital’s most recent performance data indicated it had performed well across many key measures despite claims of Federal Government health funding cuts.

Releasing the latest Victorian Health Services Performance Report this week State Health Minister David Davis said Federal Government cuts had “harmed the capacity of Victoria’s public hospitals to treat patients promptly and efficiently”.

Mr Davis said those cuts had been confirmed in the Federal Government’s own report Health Expenditure Australia 2010/11, which showed its share of recurrent expenditure on public hospitals had dropped from 44 per cent in 2008/09 to 39.1 per cent in 2012.

LRH acting chief executive Cayte Hoppner welcomed performance data it said indicated the hospital was “performing well and providing care for more patients” but declined to comment on claims about the impact of Federal Government cuts.

She said all category one patients were seen immediately in LRH’s emergency department in the April to June quarter this year, while waiting lists remained consistent as staff worked to “provide high quality care while meeting the competing demands of elective and emergency surgery”.

The most recent data showed 8081 patients had been admitted to LRH in the April to June quarter, up from 7633 admissions for the same period in 2011.

There were 2441 admissions through the emergency department, up from 2254 in the same period last year and 7752 patients who had presented at the ED, also an increase on the same quarter in 2011.

LRH provided a total of 25,661 bed-days to patients in the three months to the end of June, another increase on 2011 June quarter figures.

The data shows LRH treated 225 category one emergency patients in its ED, an increase on the previous three months.

All of those patients were treated immediately on arrival.

Of the patients who arrived at LRH by hospital in the June quarter, 91.4 per cent had their transfer completed within the 40 minute target time, exceeding the benchmark of 90 per cent.

There was a reduction in the number of patients on the elective surgery waiting list, from 1198 at the end of June 2011 quarter to 1091 at the end of this quarter.