St John of God Hospital Murdoch’s annual report shows emergency department numbers continue to plummet

St John of God Hospital Murdoch.
St John of God Hospital Murdoch.

PRESENTATIONS to the state’s only 24-hour private emergency department continued to nosedive last financial year, according to the latest annual report for St John of God Health Care.

The number of people choosing to go to St John of God Hospital (SJOGH) Murdoch fell 4.69 per cent to 17,682 presentations.

Over a three-year period, 2776 fewer presentations have been reported.

To counter the slide, SJOGH Murdoch waived its $300 ED presentation fee for people arriving by ambulance between August and October 31.

This trial proved so successful it will continue until January 31 before being reassessed.

Waiving the fee boosted the presentation year-to-date by 66 per cent with admissions also increasing by 57 per cent, SJOGH Murdoch chief executive Ben Edwards said.

“As we anticipated, when Fiona Stanley Hospital’s emergency department opened across the road from ours, we experienced fewer ED presentations but we are committed to offering the community, especially those in their most vulnerable states, the choice between public and private health care,” he said on Tuesday.

The annual report showed a slight drop in births following the retirement of a long-standing obstetrician but this was on the back of a big jump the previous year when two obstetricians were recruited.

A female obstetrician was recently employed, and two weeks ago the hospital experienced its busiest week to date with 48 babies born.

The number of procedures performed by the hospital was up slightly from 43,826 to 44,915.

“Based on the recent increase in presentations, we are confident that our ED presentations will continue to grow,” Mr Edwards said.

The annual report also showed doctor engagement and satisfaction surveys revealed SJOG Health Care rose from 49th to 58th percentile against its private peers.

St John of God Subiaco ranked ‘best in class’ at the top percentile.

In 2016, 45.6 per cent of doctors considered themselves ‘dedicated partners’, higher than the private not-for-profit benchmark of 34.8 per cent and the national benchmark of 35.1 per cent.

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