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  • New report shows indigenous in NSW wait longer for surgery

    Author: AAP

Indigenous people in NSW are more likely to wait longer for non-urgent elective surgery than non-indigenous people, a new report shows.

Indigenous people living in NSW wait longer for elective surgery and feel less positive about their time in public hospitals, official data has revealed.

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A Bureau of Health Information report released on Wednesday shows Aboriginal people in public hospitals can wait on average 27 days longer for cataract extractions compared to non-Aboriginals.

Those needing total hip replacements wait about 23 days longer on average.

The report, which focused on Aboriginal health outcomes to mark a decade since the Closing the Gap report, also noted indigenous people were two-and-a-half times more likely to feel they'd experienced unfair treatment.


They are twice as likely to feel hospital staff aren't always respecting cultural or treating them with respect and dignity.

Aboriginal people are also more likely to discharge themselves against medical advice and miss follow-up appointments for mental health issues.

It's not all bad news.

Indigenous people with urgent needs, such as heart valve replacement or limb amputation, are operated on earlier, especially when living in remote areas.

The gap has also closed on early prenatal care.

It had been 13 percentage points in 2007 but is now just three between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women in early pregnancy.

"That's really good for young babies," BHI chief executive Diane Watson told AAP.

The report looks at more than 60 measures of health care, including surgery and ambulance waiting times, financial barriers to seeking treatment and time spent in emergency departments.

It noted that about one in five people in NSW still don't always have confidence in the doctors or nurses treating them.

Dentists are on the nose with one in six people delaying or avoiding treatment due to cost.


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