Public Hospital Report Card 2022

Northern Territory

AMA NT President’s Introduction

A/Prof Robert Parker

AMA NT President

The data reflects the continuing pressures on NT Hospitals during the review period with recurrent Code Yellows and a Code Brown following a fire at a Health Department warehouse ( that destroyed $30 Million of health supplies) impacting on Hospital performance. Despite the issues above, the reduction in surgical waiting times below the National average is a welcome finding.


Emergency department

Following a spike in the Northern Territory emergency presentations by 7.9 per cent in 2020-21 financial year77, in 2021-22, a reduction in presentations of 3.6 per cent was recorded.78

Waiting times

Percentage of Triage Category 3 (Urgent) emergency department patients seen within recommended time (< 30 minutes) - Northern Territory

In 2021-22, 49 per cent of patients triaged as Category 3 were seen on time, a drop of 4 per cent compared to the year before. The Northern Territory is 23 per cent below the best performing state in this category.

Source: The State of our Public Hospitals (DOHA 2004-2010). Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Emergency department care 2010-2021-22

Percentage of emergency department visits completed in four hours or less - Northern Territory

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Emergency department care (2011-12 to 2021-22): Australian hospital statistics.
Note: National emergency access targets were abolished with effect from 1 July 2015

planned surgery

Waiting times

In 2021-22 in the Northern Territory, planned surgery number of admissions dropped by 13 per cent compared to the year before.79

Median waiting time for planned surgery (days) - Northern Territory

In 2021-22, median wait in the Northern Territory was 5 days longer than the best performing State in this category.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). planned surgery data cubes (2001-02 to 2006-07): Australian hospital statistics. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). planned surgery waiting times (2007-08 to 2020-21): Australian hospital statistics

Category 2 patients

Percentage of Category 2 planned surgery patients admitted within the recommended time (90 days) Northern Territory

Only 60 per cent of Category 2 planned surgery were performed within the recommended time in 2021-22 in the Northern Territory, a drop of 6 per cent compared to the year before and a staggering 28 per cent compared to 2018-19, the pre-pandemic year.

Source: The State of Our Public Hospitals (DoHA 2004-2010) FOI request reference 253-1001 lodged June 2011. 2011-12 estimate based on State and Territory Government published data; State and Territory data for 2012 calendar year published by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National emergency access and planned surgery targets 2012: Australian hospital statistics. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Elective surgery waiting times 2013-14 to 2021-22: Australian hospital statistics.
2010-12 data not available

Public hospital funding

The most recent public hospital funding data is 2020-21, so it is affected by COVID 19 response.

Commonwealth and Northern Territory government per person funding for public hospitals (constant prices)

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Health Expenditure Australia: 2008-09 to 2019-20 viewed 10 February 2022 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/health-welfare-expenditure/health-expenditure-australia-2019-20/contents/main-visualisations/overview

Per person average annual per cent increase in public hospital funding by government source (constant prices)

2008-09 to 2012-13 2013-14 to 2017-18 2018-19 to 2020-21 2008-09 to 2020-21
NT Government 10.1% -5.1% 2.9% 2.91%
Commonwealth -3.4% 12.8% 5.7% 3.28%

77 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2022. Australian Hospital Statistics: Emergency department care 2020-21 Table 2.2 viewed 2 February 2022 https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/0d0d6cbf-e764-4a89-a71a-b03c5156235d/Emergency-Department-Care-2020-21.xlsx.aspx

78 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2023. Australian Hospital Statistics: Emergency department care 2021-22 Table 2.2 viewed 17 February 2023

79 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2023). Australian Hospital Statistics: Planned surgery waiting times 2021-22 Table 2.4 viewed 2 February 2022 https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/9d847d52-b1d3-4366-9900-1a0d4db1055d/Planned-surgery-waiting-times-2020-21.xlsx.aspx