Report claims western Sydney misses out on health services

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils is calling on the government to overhaul the distribution of health services across Sydney after new figures revealed a major inequity in the services available to western Sydney residents compared with other areas of the city.

“We have far fewer hospital beds than the rest of Sydney and our waiting times for critical surgery are far longer," councillor Alison McLaren said.

"A man with prostate cancer in Blacktown has to wait over four months for surgery while a man who attends RPA [Royal Prince Alfred] Hospital waits less than two weeks for the same surgery.

“Every day wasted on a waiting list reduces a cancer patient’s chances of survival – so it is vital that western Sydney residents get the same access to urgent health care services as people living in the east north and south, and inner west.

“And the situation is just as bad for so-called elective surgery, such as hip and knee replacements where waiting lists at Campbelltown and Fairfield Hospitals are over 300 days – that’s ten months - compared to just three weeks at St George or St Vincents hospitals."

Cr McLaren said a report by WSROC regarding the levels of other health services, such as hospital bed numbers and GP services, had shown that western Sydney lagged behind the rest of the city in these areas too.

“In western Sydney we have one GP to service 1049 people, compared to one GP for every 754 in the rest of Sydney,” she said.

“We consistently wait longer in hospital emergency rooms, we wait longer on surgery waiting lists and, when we do finally get into hospital, we have higher numbers of patients to nurses and other staff which can result in a lower quality of care.

“Western Sydney residents deserve better than this."

Cr McLaren said WSROC supported calls from health practitioners for the government to consider offering incentives for GPs and other health practitioners to move to western Sydney.

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