Only 54 per cent of patients turning up at Ballarat Base Hospital's emergency department are treated within the correct time - a fall of 11 per cent in the past nine months.
The release of the quarterly hospital and ambulance performance data showed that while all category one (need for resuscitation) patients received immediate care at BHS, 43 per cent of category two (emergency) patients waited longer than the recommended 10 minutes.
Fewer than half of category three patients needing urgent treatment were seen within the prescribed 30 minutes while 55 per cent of semi-urgent and 79 per cent of non-urgent cases were treated on time.
BHS treated 14,700 patients in July-September, just below the peak quarter for the past 12 months which occurred between October and December last year when 14,713 patients were treated.
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During the same quarter last year the hospital treated 13,916 patients.
"Winter has been a challenge, with a significant increase of presentations to the emergency department (ED) in the period compared to the same time last year," a hospital spokesperson said.
"946 more people attended the BHS ED in Q1 2019/20, compared to the prior year (6.4% increase), and 354 more ambulance arrivals or 10.5% increase. In addition those arriving were categorised as being more acutely unwell, with the triage category 1-3 rising by 1178 patients or 15.1%.
"This is consistent with the higher flu-like presentations."
Ballarat Hospital provided operations for 100 per cent of its Category 1 elective surgery patients within the benchmark 30 days, more than half of them within 12 days - two days quicker than a year earlier.
And 89 per cent of all elective surgery patients were treated within the benchmark times - 0.5 per cent better than a year earlier.
Ballarat's ambulance response times also improved with Code 1 ambulances arriving in an average of 10 minutes and 21 seconds, the same as the three months before, and almost 90 per cent arrived within 15 minutes up slightly on the previous quarter.
Ambulance crews responded to 1750 Code 1 calls, up from 1636 the previous quarter.
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