BALLARAT Base Hospital’s workload increased in the past 12 months, with new performance data showing it did more operations and treated more acute patients.
Ballarat Health Services acting chief executive officer Andrew Kinnersly said the latest performance figures for the hospital reflected the growing demand in the community.
“There’s been a consistent growth in demand for these services and increased demand for specialities,” he said.
According to yearly performance data to the end of May, the number of acute inpatients treated at Ballarat rose 6.7 per cent, surgery cases rose 3.3 per cent and inpatient bed days rose five per cent.
“Our theatre waiting list is down by around five per cent on the same time last year,” Mr Kinnersly said.
“We’re very keen to see our waiting times across the board in elective surgery improve. Our figures are alright but we want to see them get better.”
Mr Kinnersly said the hospital had been allocated new growth funding for 2012-13, which would boost its inpatient capacity by 8.6 per cent.
This included an immediate four new inpatient acute beds.
“BHS is very pleased with the level of growth funding we’ve been allocated,” he said.
“Our short-stay unit hours of operation will be increased and we’re looking at significant expansion in capacity in our hospitals in the home program.
“We’ve got a state government commitment to increase our inpatient beds by 60 over a three-year period. We’re in a fortunate position where we’ve got a plan in place.”
The performance data showed although the number of patients in the most urgent triage categories increased in the past 12 months at BHS, the hospital treated fewer people at the lower end of the triage scale.
Mr Kinnersly said a proliferation of general practitioners to the region in the past 12 months may have contributed to the trend.
The Victorian government also released its latest public hospital performance report this week, showing the Base hospital admitted 9008 patients in the three months to the end of March – up from 8344 admissions in the same period in 2011.
Elective surgery median time to treatment for all general surgery was 21 days, down from 30 days in the March quarter of 2011.
There was a reduction in the number of patients on the elective surgery waiting list – from 1156 at the end of March 2011 to 1135 at the end of this quarter.