Perth rated nation’s fastest city for emergency ambulance service

Stock image.
Stock image.

AMBULANCES reached the most urgent of patients fastest in Perth last year, with Sydney trailing all other Australian capital cities.

In the WA capital, ambulances reached urgent patients within 14.1 minutes in 90 per cent of cases in 2017/18.

That compared to a 20.8 minute wait for an ambulance to arrive in Sydney, the capital with the slowest response time.

Looking across entire states and territories, the ACT had the fastest response time at 14.7 minutes, according to a Productivity Commission report on government-funded health services released on Wednesday.

The slowest statewide response was in Tasmania, where 90 per cent of the most urgent call-outs were attended within 29.4 minutes.

Once people arrived at a public hospital emergency room, the report shows they were a little less likely to leave within four hours last year than they were several years ago.

The proportion of people who left the ED within four hours was 71.1 per cent in 2017/18, compared with 72.7 per cent in 2013/14.

One hundred per cent of people who arrived at the ED needing resuscitation were seen within the required time-frame.

But across all levels of urgency, 72 per cent of emergency department arrivals were seen in time in 2017/18..

The Productivity Commission’s report also shows more Australians are joining waitlists for elective surgery at public hospitals than are getting off them.

There were 866,363 people added to waiting lists in 2016/17, while 748,091 were removed.

The report also provides the latest data on how much the government has spent on various health services.

Total spending on health by both the federal/state and territory governments was estimated to have been $112 billion in 2016/17.

Of that, $63.8 billion went towards public hospitals, with a spend of $2606-per-person.

The health spend in 2016/17 also included $36.9 billion for primary and community health, $2.6 billion for ambulance services and $8.7 for mental health management.

– AAP