Australia reports quality variance in public hospitals:
This article was originally published in Clinica
This month, Australia released a five-year report on the state of the country's public hospitals. During this period, the government invested more than Aus$31bn (US$21.4bn) in public hospitals, but the report shows that some areas of hospital performance have regressed. For example, in 2002-03 people waited longer in emergency departments and for elective surgery than the recommended time, compared to 1998-99. Quality of service also varies according to state. Tasmanians who require a hip replacement have longer waiting times than residents of other states or territories, the report says. However, despite the increase of waiting lists, 85% of patients are treated within the appropriate time, says the ministry of health. The report also shows that the number of available public hospital beds is decreasing, which the government claims is indicative of the importance of a viable private hospital sector.