NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner says a new report on the state's healthcare system shows it compares well internationally, but hospital performance can improve.
The Bureau of Health Information's third annual Healthcare in Focus 2012 report compared the performance of the NSW healthcare system with other states and countries.
It found fewer years of life were lost to cancer and heart disease in NSW than in most other countries but further improvements could be made in the state's health care system.
The report said the majority of people described their overall health as excellent or very good and rated their experiences of the NSW healthcare system positively.
But Ms Skinner says the report showed that in 2010-11, 35 per cent of NSW patients reported visiting an emergency department for care that a GP could provide - more than patients in eight of the ten other countries compared in the survey.