Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has slammed NSW Labor for failing Shoalhaven Hospital and the Shoalhaven community with the latest health data revealing emergency treatment times at Shoalhaven are some of the worst in the State.

Mr Ward has used Parliament to ask a Question on Notice to the Minister for Health, Minister for Regional Health, and Minister for the Illawarra and the South Coast about the figures and has demanded a major investment into staffing and resources.

“The Minister for Health loves popping down to Shoalhaven Hospital for a Facebook photo to take credit for hospital upgrade works he had nothing to do with. But now in Government, Labor is failing our hospital and our community.

“Our nurses, doctors and medical staff do a fantastic job. We just need more of them. This city-centric Labor Government needs to start listening to our frontline medical practitioners, investing in our regions and providing the right level of support for Shoalhaven Hospital.  

“Once again, where is the Member for South Coast? Why isn’t she telling her government to fix the problems at Shoalhaven Hospital. The Member for South Coast would rather side with her Party than stand up for her community.

“The latest Bureau of Health data indicates Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital, the main acute care hospital for the Shoalhaven region, is one of the worst in the State when it comes to emergency treatment times,” Mr Ward said. 

“On-time treatment at Shoalhaven Hospital is reported to be as low as 55.2%, the average time for the same metric for the Illawarra-Shoalhaven is 61.3%, and the State, 65.8%. 

“In comparison, Western NSW and Northern Sydney regions are currently over 80%, and Southern NSW is at 79.3%.

“My message to Labor is clear. Stop taking selfies and start staffing our hospitals.

“While the Minister says T2 emergency patients starting treatment on time in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Health District has improved from 35.4 to 44.8% from 2022 to 2023, I note for the region, in terms of T2 treatment times, Shoalhaven Hospital is clearly the worst performing hospital, with wait times at half the performance level when compared to Shellharbour,” Mr Ward concluded. 

Mr Ward’s Question on Notice to the Minister for Health:

With respect to emergency treatment times at Shoalhaven Hospital:

  1. What is the Minster doing to improve emergency treatment wait times at Shoalhaven Memorial Hospital?
  2. How has the staffing profile of the emergency department changed, on average, each year for the last four years?
  3. What changes does the government make to the profile of emergency staffing during holiday and peak periods in the Shoalhaven?
  4. Will the Minister commit to an independent inquiry into staffing levels at Shoalhaven Hospital?
  5. Is the Minister considering the addition of a Medical Urgent Care Clinic (similar to Wollongong Hospital) to assist in improving current wait times?
  6. Will the Minister and his department meet with me to discuss this issue and the government’s plans to improve waiting times at Shoalhaven Hospital?