Adelaide Emergency Departments Flatlining

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows patients wait longer in Adelaide’s Emergency Departments than in comparable hospitals around the country and that in the critical urgent category waiting times got longer in the QEH, Women’s and Children’s and Flinders.

“South Australia’s EDs are amongst the worst performing in the nation and people in the critical urgent category are waiting longer than they did 4 years ago,” said Stephen Wade Shadow Minister for Health.

“The proportion of people waiting more than 30 minutes for “urgent” treatment in Adelaide’s Emergency Departments has skyrocketed over the last four years.

“Last year, 49% of people assessed by an emergency department health professional as needing “urgent” treatment had to wait more than half an hour before that treatment commenced, that is up from 34% in 2011/12.

“Deterioration in the performance of individual Emergency Departments was particularly marked at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and in the Modbury and Noarlunga Hospital EDs.

“Modbury and Noarlunga have both been downgraded as part of the Weatherilll Government’s controversial Transforming Health agenda.

“It’s an especially concerning picture at Noarlunga Hospital, where the Weatherill Government closed 20% of its Emergency Department treatment bays late last year.

“The immediate knock on effect for people who rely on the Noarlunga ED has been a 10-minute increase in one year in the median time someone spends in that ED.”

“Four years ago, only 25% of patients requiring “urgent” treatment ended up waiting for more than 30 minutes if they presented to the Noarlunga Hospital ED.

“Today, more than two-thirds of “urgent” presentations (68%) having to wait for more than half an hour.

“The situation at Modbury is equally bleak. There the proportion of people waiting for more than 30 minutes for urgent treatment has jumped from 26% in FY2011/12 to 54% last year.”