Record numbers treated in Mid North Coast EDs

ED visits to Port Macquarie Base Hospital from January to March, 2024. Source: Bureau of Health Information.

CAMDEN Haven residents are among the record number of people who sought emergency treatment at Port Macquarie Base Hospital (PMBH) in the first three months of this year.

The latest quarterly report from the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) shows attendances totalled 13,250 between January to March.

This was the highest number recorded by any emergency department in the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD).

When combined with Kempsey, Macksville and Coffs Harbour hospitals, the total number of ED visits in the MNCLHD rose to a record 38,420, which is 3236 more people (9.2 percent) than during the same period last year.

Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said the demand for emergency care was “unprecedented”.

“There were increases in presentations across all triage categories,” he said.

“We continue to see more patients and more of the most critically ill patients.”

This is the first full report since the Lake Cathie Ambulance station started operating at the end of 2023, but a spokesperson for NSW Ambulance told News Of The Area that it was still too early to tell how this might have contributed to the number of ED presentations.

The record increase was statewide with the NSW Nurses and Midwives Union calling on improved ratios for overstretched staff.

The report also showed that the majority of ED patients in PMBH started their treatment on time (69 percent), which is above the state average.

The hospital was also above the state average for the number of people transferred from an ambulance to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark (84.2 percent), and the number of people who left the ED within four hours of their arrival (71 percent).

The hospital performed 873 planned surgeries, with all those considered urgent performed on time.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the MNCLHD reminded the community to consider alternatives for the treatment of minor conditions.

These include GPs, medical centres and the 24-hour telephone line HealthDirect on 1800 022 222.


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