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It’s July, we must be surprised by demand at the Emergency Department

By johnboy 22 July 2010 22

Katy Gallagher is doing her annual performance of surprise at winter demand on hospital emergency departments:

The Minister for Health, Ms. Katy Gallagher said that our emergency departments provided record levels of access to care during the 2009-10 financial year- with 106,775 people attending for treatment over the 12 months.

“This was five percent above the 101,914 people who attended our Emergency Departments over the previous year and nine percent up on the year before that,” she said.

“Despite this considerable increase in presentations, waiting times at our emergency departments improved over the last financial year- with 62.8 percent of all people seen on time over the year, compared with 60.3 percent for the previous year.

During July 2009, which saw our greatest emergency department presentations due to the global outbreak of H1N1 influenza, an average of 159 people sought treatment daily at the TCH Emergency Department.

For the first two weeks of July this year, the average number of daily presentations to TCH has risen to 164- rising as high as 190 presentations on some days. Calvary Emergency Department has also experienced sustained increases in presentations recently.

So the nurses clinic next door is yet to have a major impact then.

Growing population with increasingly fewer GP options. Who’d have thunk that would lead to increased demand on the hospital?

What’s Your opinion?


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22 Responses to
It’s July, we must be surprised by demand at the Emergency Department
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gun street girl 11:49 am 23 Jul 10

sepi said :

So the problem is lack of staffed beds within the hospital, to admit Emergency patients, then what is the hold up on those – is it the increased staffing, or physical space for extra beds, or just funding in general? They certainly seem to be making new buildings at the hospital all the time.

To have a bed open, you need to staff it, which is costly. New buildings – whilst nice and shiny and vote winning (viz: Queanbeyan Hospital) – don’t look after the person in the bed – nurses, doctors, allied health staff et al do. I really do recommend reading the following article – it does sum it up quite nicely:

http://www.impactednurse.com/?p=1323

sepi 11:35 am 23 Jul 10

I wasn’t criticising either – being surprised is not the same as slagging off.

It is a bit of a concern though that 10 or 20 extra people over 24 hours can cause overcrowding in emergency. It seems that if we had a serious car accident, bus crash, or even serious gastro in a whole school class, then our hospital would be totally unable to cope with 30 patients all at once.

So the problem is lack of staffed beds within the hospital, to admit Emergency patients, then what is the hold up on those – is it the increased staffing, or physical space for extra beds, or just funding in general? They certainly seem to be making new buildings at the hospital all the time.

Time for a new hospital altogether maybe – in Gungahlin

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