APM celebrates the year that was at WSLHD

A staggering 181,000 people presented to Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) emergency departments in 2016-17 – and that was just one of the big numbers presented at the organisation’s annual public meeting on Tuesday.

WSLHD chief executive Danny O’Connor told the crowd $1.6 billion had been spent on healthcare in the past year, delivering 10,403 new babies, performing almost 43,000 surgeries and providing 2.46 million outpatient services.

“We provide health services that touch three million lives a year – that makes us one of the biggest health districts in the country,” he said.

“We service a complex and diverse population. It’s a job that comes with challenges, but we have a committed workforce that strives to meet them every single day.”

Highlights of the past year included the world’s first robotic kidney transplant, performed at Westmead Hospital last August, and the continued development of WSLHD as part of a $4.7bn health precinct, boasting state-of-the-art technology.

The APM panel – Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals general manager Sue-Anne Redmond, Westmead and Auburn hospitals general manager Andrew Newton, NewsLocal publisher John McGourty, chief executive Danny O’Connor, acting mental health director Clare Lorenzen and surgeon Naren Gunja.

The successful trial of the lung cancer drug Keytruda attracted widespread attention, and meant a number of patients were leading normal lives after previously dire prognoses.

On the flip side, efforts to improve emergency department waiting times will be a priority for the next 12 months after figures from the Bureau of Health Information revealed Blacktown and Westmead hospitals were among the state’s worst performers.

A horror flu season was a major contributor, with western Sydney one of the worst-hit areas.

NewsLocal publisher John McGourty hosted the first APM health forum, throwing questions from readers to a WSLHD panel.

To read the 2017 WSLHD Year in Review, click here.

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