BHI: More delays for patients across the Illawarra

15 June 2022

Bureau of Health Information (BHI) data from January to March 2022 show patients attending local ED’s are waiting longer to have their treatment start and less than half of patients presenting to Wollongong Hospital are leaving within four hours. 

The number of patients waiting for elective surgery in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District also increased to 7,121.  Only 75% of patients underwent surgery on time compared to 78% the previous quarter. Locally there were more than 1,200 patients who were left waiting longer than clinically recommended.


Bed block has shown to be a significant issue with more than 30% of Ambulances across the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD waiting more than 30 minutes to transfer their patient to ED staff. This is the third worst result in NSW.


The Ambulance service is also under enormous strain. The number of calls increased to 6,756. Emergency cases are classified as priority 1 (P1) by NSW Ambulance and require an immediate response. In Wollongong, only 45% of P1 calls arrived within 15 minutes.

The Member for Keira and Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said these figures are the result of more than a decade of underfunding and under resourcing.

“These figures are proof we have a healthcare system that is at crisis levels. We have hospitals across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven that are under continued pressure. From Wollongong to Shellharbour and the Shoalhaven, all three major hospitals in the Illawarra continue to show they are under resourced and struggling to cope with increased demand.


“We need urgent action to address this crisis, there must be no excuses and no delays.


“The Government’s recent announcement of a boost to the workforce will take years before we see the benefits, in the meantime there are people who are left in pain because of their mismanagement.

“Patients across the Illawarra are waiting longer for an ambulance, longer in the emergency department and longer for elective surgery.” Mr Park said.


Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully said, “The pressures on our local hospitals are real and growing with more people spending longer in the Emergency Department waiting for treatment than at the same time last year.


“The Perrottet Government has made some big promises when it comes to additional staff and resources and it must deliver them to the Illawarra.


“No more excuses. No more delays. No more papering over the cracks about the unhealthy state of hospital services in the Illawarra”, he said.