The National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA) sets out the shared intention of the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to work in partnership to improve the health outcomes for all Australians and to ensure the sustainability of the Australian health system.
As a result of the National Health Reform Agreement, there will be more information made available to the public about how the health system is performing, not only within the Territory, but also in comparison to other public hospitals and health systems across the country, supplied through the MyHospitals website.
MyHospitals is based on the latest available information suppled to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) by State and Territory health departments for public hospitals and for those private hospitals which have elected to be included in the MyHospitals website.
The MyHospitals website supplies information from around Australia and compares national, state and territory data including:
- Hospital profile
- Services offered
- Number of admissions
- Waiting times for emergency departments and elective surgery
- Safety and quality
Northern Territory Hospitals
Royal Darwin and Alice Springs Hospitals have the busiest per capita Emergency Departments in Australia. ED waiting times measure the proportion of patients seen within benchmarks, set according to the urgency of treatment required. Nationally, waiting times in emergency departments have been an area of focus for improvement with all jurisdictions striving to meet agreed benchmarks for seeing patients in the ED by 2015.
In 2010-11 the number of ED attendances at NT hospitals grew by 6.2%.
Emergency and Elective Surgery
The Territory's ability to achieve national targets for elective surgery wait times is complicated by many factors that are outside the direct influence of our health system. These include:
- High demand for emergency surgical procedures that is almost twice that of emergency surgical demand in other jurisdictions, restricting available theatre capacity for elective surgery.
- The same medical workforce operate in the public and private sectors, limiting the scope for elective surgery outside of the public sector, coupled with only one private hospital in the Northern Territory.
- Limited capacity for elective surgery across the smaller Northern Territory hospitals.
The focus for 2011-12 will be working towards meeting the benchmarks proposed by the National Heath Reform Expert Review Panel of Elective Surgery and Emergency Access Targets and agreed for implementation by all jurisdictions by 2016. These strategies will involve case management for those regularly unable to attend their surgery, increased theatre capacity at Royal Darwin Hospital and improved management of wait lists.
Information on the recent performance of your local hospital can be found at:
- Alice Springs Hospital
- Gove District Hospital
- Katherine Hospital
- Royal Darwin Hospital
- Tennant Creek Hospital
- Darwin Private Hospital
The participation of Darwin Private Hospital in the MyHospitals website data collection is voluntary.