Public Hospital Report Card 2024

Western Australia

Key Takeaways

Western Australia remains the nation’s second-best performer in the “four-hour rule” Category, yet its performance fell across all four metrics between 2021-22 and 2022-23. The state remains the worst performer in the “Percentage of Triage Category 3 (urgent) Emergency Department patients seen within recommended time” Category.

Table 1: Western Australian performance 2022-23 compared to the previous year

Cat 3 ED on time 4 Hour Rule Median Surgery wait Cat 2 Surgery wait

Table 2: Western Australian performance 2022-23 compared to national average (below or above)

Cat 3 ED on time 4 Hour Rule Median Surgery wait Cat 2 Surgery wait

Emergency department performance - Western Australia

WA’s emergency department performance paints a picture with a wide variance, with a performance close to best-in-class in one metric, and worse in class in the other.​ 

Despite falling performance alongside national averages in the “four-hour rule”, WA was the second-best performing state in this metric, indicating that 60 per cent of patients who appear to the Emergency Department have their visits completed within 4 hours. This has fallen from pre-COVID levels from over 75 per cent.​

Meanwhile, WA has maintained the position of lowest proportion of category three (urgent) patients seen with the recommended time of 30 minutes, with only 32 percent of these patients being seen on time, a figure that is 26 per cent below the national average.

Figure 3: Percentage of Category 3 (urgent) ED patients seen within the recommended time of under 30 minutes - WA

Figure 4: Percentage of ED visits completed in four hours or less - WA

Planned surgery performance - Western Australia

Western Australia’s planned surgery performance continues its decline, one that began well before the onset of COVID-19. The median waiting time for public planned surgery patients has blown out to 51 days, WA’s longest on record and longer than the national average. The state’s percentage of Category 2 planned surgery patients, while higher than the national average, has fallen from a peak of 90 per cent to 69 per cent over the past ten years. 

Figure 5: Median waiting time for planned surgery (days) - WA

Figure 6: Percentage of Category 2 planned surgery patients admitted within the recommended (90 days) - WA​

Public hospital expenditure – Western Australia

Figure 7: Per person average annual percent increase in public hospital funding by government source (constant prices) - WA

2011-12 to 2021-22 2011-12 to 2016-17 2016-17 to 2021-22
Commonwealth 2.89% 3.6% 1.69%
WA Government 0.03% -2.63% 2.76%

Figure 8: Public hospital funding, per person, by government source (constant prices) - WA

The most recent public hospital funding data is from 2021-22. Western Australia has now started to increase its public hospital spending after a long decline in per-person expenditure. However, the state’s per-person expenditure of $1374 is the lowest total figure of all of the states and territories.