It can be easy to find a skewed view on hospital care. Most opinions either come from either bad or good examples of how an individual found their level of treatment – the fact that both can occur shows that it is a imperfect way of gauging the standard of a specific facility.
If you are looking at your health insurance and the level of care you are receiving, or are likely to receive should you fall victim of illness or injury, it is important to know the hard facts.
For a better and broader view, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released their annual report on emergency department care for 2013-2014.
This means anyone analysing their organisation's use of a corporate health plan, for example, can find a better, more holistic view of the level of care they can expect to receive.
The AIHW yearly report found there to have been almost 7.2 million emergency department admissions by hospital emergency departments over the past year – this translates to almost 20,000 admissions each day across the nation.
These numbers increased from 7.2 per cent on the previous report for 2012-2013. What's more, since the 2009-2010 report, admissions to hospitals have increased by 4.8 per cent year-on-year.
People finding treatment are also staying for longer periods of time in hospitals. Patient days in hospitals increased by 1.8 per cent in this most recent report.
In the latest report, 3 in 4 people admitted to public hospitals were "seen on time", improving on the 2013-2014 review, when 71 per cent of people completed their visit within 4 hours or less.
However, the amount of time a patient waited for care was irregular across the states. The Northern Territory proved to have the longest waiting time record, with only 57 per cent of patients treated "on time", whereas New South Wales topped the list with 81 per cent.
In percentage terms, the figures for other states are:
- Victoria (75);
- South Australia (73);
- Queensland (73);
- Western Australia (70);
- Tasmania (72);
- ACT (61).
Almost 100 per cent of resuscitation patients, 82 per cent of emergency patients and 92 per cent of non-urgent patients were seen on time, the report also found.
These emergency health care results may prove encouraging and reassuring, then, depending on your location and needs – they certainly show that health care is heading in the right direction.
To discover what health insurance plan is best for you, contact your insurance broker and discuss the health care options available.