Latest health data shows need to upgrade Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital








The latest independent health data shows that the Berejiklian Government must honour its promise and provide funds for Stage Two for the upgrade of Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital – in next week’s State budget.

Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord, Federal Labor MP for Blaxland Jason Clare, Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk, Federal Labor Banks candidate Chris Gambian; and State East Hills Labor candidate Cameron Murphy – came together to highlight pressure on the hospital.

They were referring to independent Bureau of Health Information (BHI) data released on June 6 showing that it was one of the most under pressure hospitals in NSW – especially in regard to waits for elective surgery.

It is one of the busiest hospitals in Sydney seeing about 55,000 patients a year.  Last year, a record 1,857 babies were born there.

In the most recent quarter, period for the January to March 2018 period, there are 1,826 patients waiting for elective surgery at Bankstown-Lidcombe hospital.  This includes:

  • 507 patients for cataract removal;
  • 316 for orthopaedic surgery;
  • 216 for knee and hip replacements;
  • 174 patients waiting for ear, nose and throat surgery;
  • 152 waiting for gynaecology;
  • 147 for urology; and
  • 88 for tonsillectomies.

At Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, the average wait for:

  • Cataract removal was 278 days;
  • 245 days for a knee replacement;
  • 215 days for hip replacement;
  • 154 days for ear, nose and throat surgery;
  • 144 days for orthopaedic surgery; and
  • 70 days for gynaecology.

Overall, one in five patients – 22 per cent of patients – waited longer than four hours in the emergency department.

In addition, 45 per cent of the patients presenting to the emergency department were identified as “non-urgent” showing that cost of living pressures and lack of access to bulk billing GPs meant that patients were reporting to the emergency department.

NSW and Federal Labor would like to see a redevelopment begin with:

  • Improvements to the emergency department including dedicated paediatric assessment and stabilisation services;
  • Improved intensive care unit for newborns; and
  • A complete stage two would include: intensive care unit for newborns; a mental health facility for detoxification for opioid addiction; and advanced cancer services for women.

Federal Government health cuts have seen more than $3.2 million slashed from the hospital.

In 2016, Bankstown hospital was the site of the infamous baby gassing mix-up which resulted in the tragic death of one baby and the horrible permanent brain-damage to another child.

Bankstown Hospital is in a major growth corridor and is expected to have an estimated growth of 12.5 per cent to 2026.   It is also the fourth most disadvantaged local government area in metropolitan Sydney.

In addition, it has a significant ageing population with a growth in young families, creating a mini-baby boom in the region.

The major health concerns are: cancer, diabetes, asthma, mental illness and obesity – above the State average.

Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital is a 454-bed public teaching hospital and primary referral hospital. It is one of six acute public hospitals within South Western Sydney Local Health District. The hospital provides clinical services across both acute and sub-acute disciplines, and operates with an expenditure budget of around $244 million and 1,893 staff.

Mr Secord said: “We have a health and hospital system under enormous pressure and Bankstown-Lidcombe hospital has to be a priority.”

Ms Mihailuk said: “Our community has been short-changed for so long by this Government – it’s time to invest in Bankstown. The Emergency Department at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital is at capacity, elective surgery wait time is through the roof and the carpark is forever full, we deserve to be made a priority.”

Mr Clare said: “Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital is bursting at the seams – particularly the Emergency Department. The latest data indicates that only 57 percent of patients who present to the Emergency Department with an imminently life threatening condition are seen within the recommended 10 minutes, compared to 87 percent at St Vincent’s Hospital in the city.”