RPA Hospital with Jo, Penny Sharpe and Verity FirthOver the summer break the Baird Government secretly dropped its national benchmark of treating 90 per cent of NSW hospital emergency patients within four hours.

Previously, 81 per cent patients were meant to be treated within four hours under the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT).

Now the Baird Government has made it clear NSW will not be meeting this target.

Statewide, 31 per cent of NSW patients aren’t being seen within four hours.

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s emergency department is one of the State’s busiest and sees about 71,000 patients a year.

Currently, 36 per cent of patients have to wait longer than four hours in the emergency department.

Penny Sharpe, Shadow Minister for Transport and Labor candidate for Newtown said the Baird Government was secretly lowering its standard over the holiday season.

“We’ve only seen Mike Baird and Tony Abbott cut funding to health.

“To date the State Liberals and Nationals have ripped $3 billion from the NSW health and hospital system – this affects patients and the Government has to hide the data showing the impact of the cuts to the health system,” Ms Sharpe said.

Verity Firth, Labor’s candidate for Balmain said the Baird Government was letting local families down.

“Mike Baird is attempting to wash his hands of the responsibility of making sure everyone in our community gets timely, high quality care when they need it.This latest sneaky change is all about the Liberals avoiding accountability for the cuts they have made to public hospital funding at both a State and Federal level.

“Inner West families know when they come to the Royal Prince Alfred they will be looked after and we need to make sure it stays this way,” Ms Firth said.

Jo Haylen, Labor’s candidate for Summer Hill said only Mike Baird and the Liberal-National Government would benefit from this move, while patients would miss out.

“Abandoning the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) will allow the Government to hide both the state of NSW health and its failure to properly fund emergency departments.

“Mike Baird and Tony Abbott have shown they can’t be trusted, especially when it comes to our healthcare,” Ms Haylen said.