Independent research has compared NSW’s healthcare performance against other states and countries.

While the state compared strongly on about 80 per cent of measures, NSW was outperformed on waiting times for key surgical procedures.

The study by the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) found NSW patients experience higher rates of post-surgical complications compared to other countries

It also found persistent inappropriate use of procedures such as knee arthroscopy, with 70 per cent of these surgeries being performed on patients for whom there was no prospect of benefit

Additionally, median waiting times for cataract surgery, and hip and knee replacements are longer than many other countries, particularly among patients from lower socioeconomic areas.

The report also shows that, despite recent improvement, 15 per cent of patients are being readmitted to NSW hospital psychiatric units within 28 days of discharge.

“While not always avoidable, readmission rates to public hospital psychiatric units varied from six to 19 per cent across NSW hospitals, which suggests there may be potential for improvement,” BHI Acting Chief Executive Dr Kim Sutherland said.

The study compared NSW’s healthcare performance to 11 countries and other Australian states and territories.

Dr Sutherland said the state performs consistently well when aspects of our healthcare system are measured against those in comparator countries.

“The report finds that no country had lower spending and better health than NSW,” Dr Sutherland said.

“Deaths from heart attack and stroke in NSW have fallen sharply over the past decade.

“Healthcare is accessible to most people in NSW and patients generally receive it in a timely and safe way.”

The report shows that despite growing patient numbers, the proportion of people treated in emergency departments within recommended times has increased in the past five years and almost all elective surgery is performed on time.

Patients in NSW also report positive experiences of hospital care:

  • In 2016, more than seven in 10 patients said they were ‘definitely’ involved in decisions about their healthcare – a significantly higher result than six other countries
  • NSW patients also experienced respectful care, with a higher proportion saying they were treated with respect than in any other country surveyed.

The full study is accessible here.