Hospital management gives assurances

Western NSW Local Health District acting chief executive Mark Spittal has defended local health services in response to recent media attention on Dubbo and Cobar’s health services.

“When a person comes to one of our hospitals, they want to receive the best care, advice and support,” Mr Spittal said.

“I guarantee you that for all of us who work in health that’s exactly what we go to work every day wanting to deliver.

“In truth, the vast majority of people have a good experience with our hospitals and health services,” Mr Spittal said.

“They understand what’s happening, and why. They feel taken care of.”

Mr Spittal explained that over the past 10 years the Dubbo Health Service had grown in size and complexity and continues to grow.

He said the number of patients admitted to Dubbo Hospital had grown by 46 per cent; the number of elective surgeries performed has increased by 38 per cent; and the numbers using the emergency department are up 122 per cent since 2011, including a 68 per cent rise in the more complex resuscitation and emergency categories.

Mr Spittal said in response to that, Dubbo Health Service’s budget had grown by 90 per cent to more than $125million.

Mr Spittal admits that they don’t always get it right.

“When that happens, we take it very seriously, I have an obligation to patient and staff confidentiality and can’t comment on specific cases no matter how much I might like to.”

This is the case for all health staff.

“I can assure you, though, that we are working with patients and families all the time to be open about their experiences, and to involve them in the process of making improvements,” Mr Spittal said.