Health and human services performing well

Progress report

New figures show Tasmania's public health and human services system is continuing to perform well in the face of increasing demand.

The latest Your Health and Human Services Progress Chart includes good results for elective surgery waiting time, emergency department performance, breast cancer screening and ambulance response times.

The progress chart shows in the three months ending 30 September 2012 the median waiting time for elective surgery fell by nine days at the North West Regional Hospital (NWRH) and by four days at the Mersey Community Hospital.

The median waiting time for elective surgery increased by just one day at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) and the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) while all four hospitals remained well below the national benchmark of 48 days.

The chart showed the NWRH and the Mersey met national benchmarks in all categories for the percentage of patients seen within recommended times in their emergency departments.

The LGH and the RHH improved in all categories compared to the same period last year and met the national benchmarks in most categories.

The chart shows the number of women screened increasing and the percentage called back for further assessment within 28 days remaining steady.

The median emergency response time for Ambulance Tasmania fell to 11.1 minutes despite a 7.1 per cent increase in the number of ambulance responses.

Human services

The progress chart also shows 280 Tasmanians were housed in the three months to September 30 - up 8.5 per cent - while the public housing waiting list dropped 17 per cent to 2 357 compared with the same time last year.

The average time taken to find homes for Tasmanians with the highest level of need also fell from 20 to 19 weeks compared with the same quarter in 2011.

The progress chart also reveals 1 079 Tasmanians received financial help through the Private Rental Support Scheme, a 10.2 per cent increase over the September 2011 quarter, indicating a softening in the affordable rental market.

Meanwhile, the number of people with disability waiting for supported accommodation rose from 70 to 79 in the September 2012 quarter compared with the same time last year.

Supported accommodation is provided by community-based organisations funded by the State Government.

The number of people with disability waiting for full- or part-time community access placement increased from 79 to 167 in the September 2012 quarter compared with 2011.

However, the September quarter includes school leavers seeking supports, whereas allocations are made in November and December.

The latest Your Health and Human Services Progress Chart is now available

21 December 2012