NSW is on track for the first time to receive millions of dollars in federal health funding for meeting tough targets on emergency and surgery wait times.
Despite the latest Hospital Quarterly report released Wednesday, showing the state had once again failed to meet federal targets, NSW health has confirmed big improvements in the last two months will likely mean more than $31 million in federal funding will be provided.
Luke Worth, a director at NSW Health, said in October and November the state exceeded emergency department waiting targets, and the high volume of patients in that time was expected to lift the average for the year.
"It's the first time we have ever achieved the National Emergency Access Target, it's been quite an improvement,” he said.
Between January and October this year, an extra 90,000 people had been seen within four hours in emergency departments compared to the same time last year, he said.
“We didn't get the funding last year, so that is rolled over into this year, meaning there is about $31 million available,” he said.
The Bureau of Health Information Hospital Quarterly report shows in July to September an average of 65 per cent of patients waited no longer than four hours in emergency, up from 58 per cent in the same time last year but still below the target of 71 per cent.
Elective surgery also improved, with 99 per cent of the most urgent surgeries done on time, 97 per cent of semi-urgent, and 96 per cent of non-urgent elective surgery. To meet targets by the end of the year 100 per cent of urgent patients, 93 per cent of semi-urgent, and 95 per cent of non-urgent patients must be treated on time.
Mr Worth said NSW was on track to receive at least some of the funding tied to those targets.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said a huge amount of work had gone in to the improvements.
"I'm very proud of the innovative work being undertaken at a local level to ensure hospitals are not only meeting patient demand but striving to be better," she said.