Data highlights the impact of COVID-19 on Footscray Hospital

By Matthew Sims

New Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW] data has shown that less than half of emergency patients attending Western Health Footscray Hospital were treated within the recommended time frame during the 2020-2021 period.

The most recent MyHospitals data showed that 48 percent of emergency patients were treated within 10 minutes of arriving at Footscray Hospital, a 15 percent decrease compared to the 2019-2020 period.

The data also showed that 46 percent of urgent patients were treated within the recommended 30-minute time at Footscray, reflecting an 11 percent decrease compared to 2019-2020.

John Ferraro, acting executive director of Western Health, said the COVID-19 pandemic has put additional strain on their services over the 2020-2021 period.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on hospital activity since it began in 2019, putting additional pressure on health services like ours,” he said.

“There are a number of factors that have contributed to the demand for emergency services, including Western Health’s care for a high percentage of the state’s COVID-19-positive hospital patients; the ongoing complex healthcare needs of our community; and our staff is also affected by COVID symptoms.

“If you have a minor injury or non-urgent condition, see your local GP, speak to a pharmacist for questions about general health or the use of medications, or call Nurse at any time for immediate advice on 1300 60 60 24.”

The AIHW report also highlighted that Williamstown Hospital, which is also a Western Health hospital, performed well over the 2020-2021 period.

The data showed that 92 percent of emergency patients were treated within 10 minutes, while staff treated 93 percent of emergency patients within 30 minutes.

Mr Ferraro said Western Health would continue to expand its services, including completion of the new Footscray Hospital in 2025.

The AIHW data also showed a 6.3 percent increase in hospital admissions nationally over the 2020-2021 period.

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