Gold Coast Health embarked on a $1.9 billion infrastructure spend in 2022-2023 as the health service grows to meet the demands of the region’s rapidly increasing population.
Gold Coast Health’s emergency departments continued to be the busiest in Australia, seeing nearly 190,000 patients. The median wait time was just 14 minutes, and 48 per cent of people departed the emergency department within four hours of arrival. 100 per cent of Category 1 patients were seen within the recommended timeframe of two minutes.
The median wait time for elective surgery was 33 days. 95 per cent of Category 1 patients were seen within clinically recommended times. The COVID-19 pandemic and the national requirement to defer elective surgeries for three months in August 2022 was the principal reason that targets were not met.
Each weekday, more than 3340 appointments were delivered across outpatient departments in Gold Coast Health. More than 908,000 specialist and non-specialist appointments were provided in the 2022–2023 financial year, which is an increase of approximately 1.8 per cent on the previous year. More than 27 per cent of outpatient appointments were delivered via telephone, video conference or email this financial year, which remains higher than before the pandemic.
Highlights of the 2022-2023 Annual Report include:
- Gold Coast Health is planning for and providing several infrastructure projects worth close to $1.9 billion in response to a growing population and need for additional services in the community. Projects include the Tugun Satellite Hospital; construction of three wards at the Gold Coast University Hospital with space for 70 extra sub-acute beds; the Gold Coast Secure Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit; the Robina Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Centre; and the new Coomera Hospital.
- The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has recommended that Gold Coast University Hospital maintain its Trauma Level 1 Centre status following formal re-verification. Patients who are treated at a Level 1 Trauma Centre have lower mortality rates and shorter lengths of stay as they have access to a wide range of specialised care from a multi-disciplinary team.
- Gold Coast Health introduced a ground-breaking procedure in Australia for same-day total laparoscopic hysterectomies (TLH). (Traditionally, patients are admitted for one to two days postoperatively). The successful pilot program was fully implemented during the reporting period, with 70 patients undergoing the procedure and 98 per cent having a same-day discharge.
- The Better Cardiac Care program started in November 2022 and is modelled on services successfully operating in other Queensland Health locations. The team collaborates with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled health service, Kalwun, and GPs, to ensure a holistic approach to the care of First Nations people. This service is demonstrating improvements for First Nations people. In the first eight months of the project, 90 per cent of participants attended their follow-up GP appointment.
- The Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) care team commenced a day program in November 2022 with four beds, which supports patients aged 14-18 years to step out of the paediatric ward earlier. It saved 212 paediatric overnight bed days from inception to 30 June.
- Gold Coast Health released its First Nations Health Strategy on 12 August 2022, which details the Health Service’s Commitment to work with Gold Coast First Nations people to deliver real outcomes.
- The Waijungbah Jarjums Service for Maternal and Child Health won the 2023 Queensland Reconciliation Award for Health and Wellbeing, as well as the prestigious Premier’s Reconciliation Award. The Australian-first service delivers women-centred, culturally safe, quality care to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families.
The Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service annual report 2022-2023 can be found here.