- More than 50 patients wait an extraordinary 24 hours in ED for month of October
- 90 per cent of admitted patients take almost 20 hours to get a bed
- Ferguson’s Patients First initiative not working
Tasmanians are waiting for treatment in the state’s hospital emergency departments for longer periods than any time in the past five years under ineffective Health Minister Michael Ferguson.
Shadow Health and Preventative Care Minister Rebecca White said despite Mr Ferguson’s claims to the contrary, Tasmanians were waiting for unacceptable lengths of time according to data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Ms White said in addition, information obtained by Labor also shows the time it takes for 90 per cent of admitted patients to get a bed has increased to 19 hours.
“The information shows that last month alone, there were 54 patients who spent more than 24 hours waiting in the emergency department at the Royal Hobart Hospital,” Ms White said.
“That’s an increase of 300 per cent compared to October last year.
“What’s most worrying is that these figures were compiled during a period when the hospital has access to flex beds.
“With Mr Ferguson’s much-delayed redevelopment finally about to get underway, frontline emergency department staff have legitimate concerns about the reduction in the actual number of beds available, particularly when these figures indicate that the RHH does not have enough beds currently to meet the demand.
“Just today we saw an alarming situation at the RHH with 16 patients forced to wait for over 12 hours for a bed and another seven waiting over 20 hours.
“That is not only dangerous for patient care, it represents a real danger for staff who are doing the absolute best they can to cope with a situation that Mr Ferguson continually denies is happening.
“Mr Ferguson needs to admit the situation is dire and work toward finding an actual solution.
“He needs to provide a guarantee that patients presenting to our hospital emergency departments will get the care they need on time and have access to a bed when they need one.”