Hospital waiting time now online

NORTHERN Rivers residents will be able to check the waiting time of the region’s main local hospitals before heading in thanks to a new State Government website.

The site, www.emergencywait.com.au, was finished last Thursday and was announced by the Government yesterday after a week of testing.

Local hospitals providing information to the website include Lismore, Murwillumbah, The Tweed, and Grafton.

As of 2.30pm today, the region’s busiest hospital is Lismore Base, where 11 people face a wait of between 40 and 50 minutes for treatment. Murwillumbah, which has no patients awaiting treatment, is the region’s quietest hospital but, perversely, also has the longest wait. If someone comes in they’re looking at a delay of up to an hour before they get treatment.

The website is the first of its kind in the state and provides information for 58 emergency departments across NSW, updated every 15 minutes.

Lismore MP Thomas George said the site fit with the coalition’s commitment to a more transparent health system.

“The NSW Government promised to deliver this site because we are committed to providing timely access to quality care and giving the public honest and accurate data about the state of our health system – and I am very pleased to say that this site does exactly that,” Mr George said.

“If a patient is seriously unwell or badly injured then obviously they should dial 000 for an ambulance or make their way to the nearest Emergency Department but if they are uncertain about whether they should go to the hospital this site will be of great help.

“It details the number of patients – in real time – who have been seen by a triage nurse and are awaiting treatment.

“If you log on to see your local emergency department has 10 people ahead of you, the site will also offer several alternatives near you that may have fewer patients waiting.

“It also provides average waiting times and the number of beds in each emergency department.

“This is real-time information that will help people make more informed decisions about their care and will also provide everyone with a very clear picture of how our emergency departments are coping – yet another step in this government’s push towards transparency.”



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