- 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.”
WHAT should have been a straightforward building project, pivotal to redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital, has been in chaos for more than six months.
It is worrying and upsetting to Tasmanians that their major capital city hospital should be at the centre of a chain of haphazard and avoidable bungles.
Also worrying is that the Hodgman Government and Health Minister Michael Ferguson seem determined that none of us will understand the true extent of what is going on.
Mr Ferguson and the Government’s appalling secrecy surrounding the debacle in constructing a temporary demountable building at the RHH forecourt is astounding.
Tasmanians want to know what is happening at the Royal and how we reached a point where the Government has so badly botched a temporary demountable building costing $22 million. There are serious questions about the ability of the Government and the Minister to deliver on the bigger picture — the actual $659 million hospital redevelopment.
Dangerous mould infestations have been discovered on the site. Workers have been sent home because the site is unsafe.
The contracted builder has had to pull sections of the temporary building apart, demolishing entire floors and put it back together again.
Sections of roofing have needed to be replaced, along with external cladding.
Timelines around this redevelopment appear hopelessly blown.
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