Hospitals still not up to scratch?

johnboy 21 July 2008 41

The Shadow Health Minister Jacqui Burke, has proudly announced the outcome of her Freedom of Information (FOI) digging into the health statistics.

    only 53% of presentations were being treated in the time required according to triage categories.
    The problem is most acute for category 3 and category 4 patients who should be seen within 30 minutes and 60 minutes respectively. Even for urgent cases, nearly a third are not being seen within the required ten minutes.

What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
41 Responses to Hospitals still not up to scratch?
Filter
Order
Bonejac Bonejac 11:14 pm 22 Jul 08

@Gun Street Girl, your correct of course, governmental reliance upon health workers to turn up to work day in day out no matter how bad the working conditions are, is a big factor in why hospitals and the health care professions in general are so badly supported.
It is because workers in this area believe in what they are doing and that the community deserves the best possible care (which it does), that they sacrifice their own well being in attempt to match the expectations placed upon them by the greater community, even though it is detrimental to themselves and their families.
It seems to me over the past few years we have witnessed a gradual erosion of the pay and conditions so bitterley fought for by nurses and allied health professionals throughout the 1970/80s’.
Increasing workloads and responsibility, for no renumeration or recognition leads to the decreasing morale and exodus of trained and experienced staff. Point a) sees various world governments offering better pay and relocation allowances to a variety of health professions, where as point b) goes un recognised/supported.
Importing staff from overseas is only a stop gap measure attempting to fill the void created by greater systemic problems, such as the health care as a business model.
Health care like education can not be run as a business, as in its outcomes are difficult, if not impossible to quantify. Attempt to do so end up in a inadequate health care system very similar to the USA where treatment is dependent upon an individuals ability to afford private health coverage.

gun street girl gun street girl 10:06 pm 22 Jul 08

Bonejac said :

4: there is a general shortage of trained & experienced health care workers from all disciplines nation wide.

Indeed… so you’d think that the ACT would be a) aggressively campaigning to recruit good workers and b) actively putting in measures to retain the good staff that they already have. Unfortunately, they seem to think that flogging their good workers, treating them with disdain and not offering competitive salaries and conditions, is sufficient plenty to have people stay. And they wonder why they are leaving in droves…

Bonejac Bonejac 7:08 pm 22 Jul 08

Just a few observations:
1: Yes waiting rooms are being misused by people with colds and flus who would be better served seeing a GP.
2: Yes there is inadequate funding outside of emergency departments (wards with closed beds due to lack of staff – nurses, doctors & allied health & lack of medical centres)
3: CALMS & HEALTH FIRST are not available to treat people 24hrs a day – hense “passing the buck” so to speak, they may answer your phone call 24/7 but if there is no doctor available after hours or its anything more than a paper cut an ambulance is called or presentation to an ED is recommended.
4: there is a general shortage of trained & experienced health care workers from all disciplines nation wide.
5:Those in government are only in government for 4 years – so no long term goals are set or met outside of that time frame.
6: People expecting “magic bullet” treatment for illness.
7: Inappropriate use of emergency health care (see point 1), I’m not sure if its a general lack of education or people unwilling to take responsibility for their actions (increasing presentations to emegency departments with intoxication or alcohol induced trauma)
All of these points add up to extended waiting periods at emergency departments.

el el 6:40 pm 22 Jul 08

. The hospital crisis extends far, far further than the emergency department. All departments are being squeezed dry. The system couldn’t get much more lean or mean than it is right now.

Exactly. It’s all about ‘efficiency measures’ people. Welcome to the wonderful world of public health in the ACT.

Someone_else Someone_else 4:08 pm 22 Jul 08

gun street girl said :

That’s courtesy of Katy. She took one of her kids to the ED, and noticed there wasn’t a cushy area for the children to play. Don’t mind the fact that the money spent on this nice new play area could have gone towards staffing a new bed… and don’t pay any heed to the wisdom of ripping up the waiting room at the height of Winter…

What a joke. It’s a hospital, not a daycare for Christ’s sake!

Another sterling decision from Katy. *eyeroll*

peterh peterh 4:01 pm 22 Jul 08

gun street girl said :

That’s courtesy of Katy. She took one of her kids to the ED, and noticed there wasn’t a cushy area for the children to play. Don’t mind the fact that the money spent on this nice new play area could have gone towards staffing a new bed… and don’t pay any heed to the wisdom of ripping up the waiting room at the height of Winter…

(shakes head) what the hell was she thinking?? who lets their kids play in a hospital, or on the floor in a hospital??

all you need is someone with an oozing wound, a child that coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth and all kids get the same disease, just by touching a toy or the walls / floor etc.

(not telling you anything new) if you look at the area, it looks like a great incubator.

gun street girl gun street girl 3:23 pm 22 Jul 08

That’s courtesy of Katy. She took one of her kids to the ED, and noticed there wasn’t a cushy area for the children to play. Don’t mind the fact that the money spent on this nice new play area could have gone towards staffing a new bed… and don’t pay any heed to the wisdom of ripping up the waiting room at the height of Winter…

peterh peterh 3:19 pm 22 Jul 08

gun street girl said :

We don’t yet have the population to justify having base hospitals so close to a tertiary institution – and we’re geographically too small to spread out our infrastructure.

just another question, what is the new area at TCH, in the ED waiting area? I overheard a couple talking about it, they thought it was going to be an area for littlies.

is this correct?

gun street girl gun street girl 3:08 pm 22 Jul 08

We don’t yet have the population to justify having base hospitals so close to a tertiary institution – and we’re geographically too small to spread out our infrastructure. The newest idea from the Government is to centralise maternity and paeds services into a new hospital, which would see all of the maternity, paeds and NICU departments of TCH move out (leaving quite a bit of space for expansion of other departments. TCH itself is set to expand over the next decade or so, which should see further centralisation of services.

peterh peterh 2:57 pm 22 Jul 08

gun street girl said :

What on earth do you mean by having an ED “at each end of Canberra”??

Instead of opening new hospitals, I’d be happy for them to concentrate upon properly and adequately staffing the two hospitals they have already, just quietly.

I was thinking of one in gungahlin & one in banks / lanyon. not full blown hospitals, but rather base hospitals.

either that, or the facility to deal with ailments that are serious, but not life threatening.

Problem that I have as a father of 3 under 4’s, is that if one of the kids is having problems breathing, I would prefer not to take them to the ED.

Rather a facility that works 24-hours, however still has access to TCH or Calvary if required and the problem escalates.

A private facility does not have the same resources as a govt facility.

This could also spread out the load across canberra and assist people who are nearby in murrumbateman and burra / cooma.

in order for something like this to be viable, the 2 major hospitals would need to be efficient. (so not going to happen soon, but it may happen eventually)

gun street girl gun street girl 2:25 pm 22 Jul 08

What on earth do you mean by having an ED “at each end of Canberra”??

Instead of opening new hospitals, I’d be happy for them to concentrate upon properly and adequately staffing the two hospitals they have already, just quietly.

peterh peterh 2:22 pm 22 Jul 08

gun street girl said :

jakez said :

Does private health insurance speed things up at all?

No. You don’t get seen quicker in the ED if you are privately insured. You might find an inpatient bed quicker (after you have done the initial wait in the ED), if you opt to go to a private hospital, although many would recommend against leaving the tertiary public hospital if you are deadly ill.

so, does anyone know why we don’t have an ED at each end of canberra as well as calvary & TCH?
seems that this should be an election promise….

More beds, more nurses and doctors and more hospitals. wouldn’t it be lovely?

but still no dragway….

gun street girl gun street girl 2:04 pm 22 Jul 08

jakez said :

Does private health insurance speed things up at all?

No. You don’t get seen quicker in the ED if you are privately insured. You might find an inpatient bed quicker (after you have done the initial wait in the ED), if you opt to go to a private hospital, although many would recommend against leaving the tertiary public hospital if you are deadly ill.

jakez jakez 11:45 am 22 Jul 08

Genie said :

Last time I was at the hospital I was with my mum who had a suspected broken bone…. 2 hour wait to see a doctor, then I think it was about an hour for the xray.. then about another hour to get back in to see the doctor.

Wow you had it really lucky.

When I broke my thumb at football training (who breaks their thumb at TRAINING?), we waited 4 hours to see the doctor, then found out the xray part had closed. So we came back the next day, another long wait for the xray, another loooong wait to see someone for the results. Another looooong wait to have it plastered. Most of the day all up.

When I had my motorcycle accident I remember waiting on the guerney in some corridor for a while. Then had to wait most of the day for someone to look at my leg. It was NOT serious though. I just had a bit of a concussion, a knock to the knee and some puncture wounds to the leg. Considering my head bounced off the toe bar ofa van, I was probably pretty lucky. Thank god for helmets.

It’s understandable but it’s a bloody pain in the arse. The annoyance of being injured is soon overtaken by the frustration of having to wait so long.

Does private health insurance speed things up at all?

Battle_Kath Battle_Kath 10:41 am 22 Jul 08

As far as GP’s go. Whenever I’ve had a cold or something as equally minor, i’ve just stayed home rather than wasting the docs time when there’s nothing they can do. However.. since recently losing pay for not providing a docs certificate, i guess i’ll be clogging up the system every time now. what a joke.

peterh peterh 10:34 am 22 Jul 08

gun street girl said :

In my experience, there is a problem with patients who can afford to pay, who just don’t want to. Many patients, who wouldn’t think twice about spending $50 on a manicure or night out, baulk at the idea of paying for good health.

Unfortunately, I am not in that category. I want to bulk bill so that the tight budget I live on cannot be blown out by any amount. Maybe if we both were working, we could afford to visit a GP.

splitting my income across 2 people means that we would both earn $26K each.

not a lot, and with a total of 5 mouths in the family, every saving counts.

gun street girl gun street girl 9:46 am 22 Jul 08

In my experience, there is a problem with patients who can afford to pay, who just don’t want to. One of the unfortunate side effects of having a system like Medicare is the expectation from the public that all health care should be free. Many patients, who wouldn’t think twice about spending $50 on a manicure or night out, baulk at the idea of paying for good health.

Access to GPs in Canberra is a problem. Admittedly, we have a dearth of bulk billing practices, but a larger problem is a deficiency of numbers across the board. The ACT is currently classified as an “area of need”, given that we only have one GP for roughly every 1000 Canberrans. As such, some presentations to TCH ED are due to the fact that patients simply can’t access a GP, full stop, or that their regular GP can’t see them in a timely manner.

peterh peterh 9:35 am 22 Jul 08

Mutto said :

How about the Department of Health setting aside some space in the hospital precincts (Canberra and Calvary) for such clinics (even privately run) and see how much that eases the emergency department ?

They have. They are called CALMS (Canberra Afterhours Locum Medical Service).

unfortunately, they cost money, they don’t bulk bill.

there is a service for calms in tuggers, but it doesn’t operate after hours like TCH.

justbands justbands 9:16 am 22 Jul 08

Cool..thanks.

gun street girl gun street girl 9:08 am 22 Jul 08

Access block is when admitted patients cannot move any further than the ED because there is no room for them in the wards. The knock on effect is that it’s not uncommon to have patients waiting in an acute ED bed for over 24 hours until a ward bed frees up, thus limiting access to that acute bed to incoming ED patients. The hospital crisis extends far, far further than the emergency department. All departments are being squeezed dry. The system couldn’t get much more lean or mean than it is right now.

Also, it’s a misperception to think that the lower category patients aren’t ill enough to warrant admission. Certainly, it’s not uncommon to have to admit Cat 4 patients (who would be waiting a heck of a lot longer on average than your Cat 2 chest pain).

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top

Search across the site