Labor must convene ED crisis meeting

The State Liberals have today called on the Weatherill Labor Government to immediately convene a crisis meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis plaguing South Australian emergency departments. 

Today, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) called on the State Government to “act immediately in order to address unacceptable levels of strain being experienced by emergency departments throughout South Australia.” (ACEM press release, 25/09/14)

The ACEM also acknowledged today that “while a severe flu season may have contributed to the spike in ED presentations at the ED, the major underlying issues are not seasonal.”

This is supported by data from the twelve months before the recent flu outbreak which shows the Royal Adelaide Hospital has had a 7.3 per cent decline in its emergency department clearance rate.

“The Health Minister Jack Snelling has no answers to the problems plaguing Adelaide’s Emergency Departments and needs to put his pride to one side and seek expert advice from the sector,” said State Liberal Steven Marshall.

“We can’t wait until the new Royal Adelaide Hospital is opened to tackle the crisis in our Emergency Departments.

“Adelaide’s major hospitals continue to be stretched to breaking point, with patients in emergency departments subjected to huge waiting times as the system struggles to cope with the level of demand.

“The emergency departments in Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre fall into the bottom 10 per cent of major metropolitan hospitals in Australia and the situation got worse during 2013.

“We need the Premier and the Health Minister to admit there is a problem and bring together the necessary expertise to solve it now.”