Hospital services

There are different measures that can be used to assess access to hospital services. Emergency department waiting times are one indicator of accessibility of hospital services as they provide care to patients who require urgent medical attention, or serve as a gateway to care as an admitted hospital patient. Access to medical procedures while in hospital are another indicator as studies have shown that while Indigenous Australians are more likely to be hospitalised than other Australians’, they are less likely to receive certain medical or surgical procedures. The data on waiting times for elective surgery also show that Indigenous Australians often wait longer to receive surgery.

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