ED waiting time targets abandoned

The Australian newspaper reported today that NSW had abandoned the reward payments scheme, which was to have operated from 1 January, under which all states were to reach a benchmark of EDs seeing 90% of patients within four hours.

The national partnership deal was struck between the states and the Gillard government in 2011, as part of the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT).

It included rewards of $50 million a year for reaching the 90% target, although the Abbott government abolished the payments in last year’s federal budget.

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner was quoted in The Australian saying that because “there is currently no formal target tied to rewards payments”, NSW intended to keep last year’s target of 81%.

The paper reported the 90% target faced an uncertain future across the country as Queensland, with the agreement of other states, was reviewing the figure.

Mrs Skinner said