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Pigs causing ACT Health problems

By bren - 23 July 2009 18

The SMH reports that ACT Health are having to purchase Private Hospitals beds to cope with the demand thanks to Swine Flu.

While I am all for a proactive approach to this problem. It does makes you wonder, if a virus worse than Swine Flu hit Canberra (or Australia for that matter), could our health system actually cope?

[ED – Or god help us a war or a natural disaster. Public health should be built with excess capacity]

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Pigs causing ACT Health problems
Granny 5:59 am 25 Jul 09

I was certainly shocked to read that the number of deaths caused by access block each year is similar to the road toll, gun street girl. That is really confronting.

gun street girl 9:10 pm 24 Jul 09

peterh said :

With the demise of the Canberra Hospital (the old one) we need another ED. John james should be emergency for overflow patients from woden’s TCH. There will need to be another in gungahlin, in the not too distant future.
*snip*
The health minister has to look at creating new emergency departments, not tacking bits onto the old hospitals.

Actually, what we need is more cash poured into inpatient care, as opposed to the current habit of throwing money at the ED. impactednurse probably sums it up the best in the following post:

http://www.impactednurse.com/?p=1104

Unfortunately, the performance of our hospitals at present is politically quantified by two measures: ED waiting times, and surgical waiting lists. As such, as soon as one or both of these measures blow out, the natural “quick fix” by the politicians is to chuck money at the department “in trouble”, without looking at the bigger picture. _Access block_ is the predominant thing that cripples TCH ED. Access block simply will not be cured by making the ED bigger (which, sadly, seems to be in the works at present), or building another somewhere else.

peterh 2:32 pm 24 Jul 09

ant said :

gun street girl said :

Agreed. The hospital regularly runs at over 100% capacity throughout the year. Add significant strain to that already unsafe occupancy rate, and you’re naturally going to see the wheels fall off completely. Simply put, the machinery is far, far too lean.

Nothing and no one can sustain 100% for any length of time. It’ll take very little to push it over, and for staff to operate in that environment is completely unsustainable.

WRT to emergency rooms/casualty, user-pays versions of these must be set up, there’s clearly a market for them. Our family GP used to have a sole-person practice in Fyshwick, and any time you were waiting for your spot, you’d be pushed back as blokes in fluro gear were brought in by their mates, blood dripping, items of clothing wrapped around various bits, or being supported by their mates as they staggered along. She ran an unofficial emergency department there, and it was very busy with walk-ins/stagger-ins.

With the demise of the Canberra Hospital (the old one) we need another ED. John james should be emergency for overflow patients from woden’s TCH. There will need to be another in gungahlin, in the not too distant future.

The current hospitals and their staff have managed to avoid any major issues over the years, but this was based on a population that didn’t include gungahlin, or deep tuggeranong. With the new suburb of Molonglo, I fear that the populace will outstrip the existing hospitals’ ability to cope.

If you look at the numbers of staff and beds available, right now, I can only praise Gunstreet girl and her colleagues for the work that they do. There will be a day in the not too distant future where the system will break down. The fires were a stark reminder of what could have been a very bad result for the injured and dispossessed, if there were larger areas of canberra effected. The health minister has to look at creating new emergency departments, not tacking bits onto the old hospitals. Of course, new hospitals won’t be much use without the personnel to nurse, or the beds to hold the new influx of patients.

ant 11:26 am 24 Jul 09

gun street girl said :

Agreed. The hospital regularly runs at over 100% capacity throughout the year. Add significant strain to that already unsafe occupancy rate, and you’re naturally going to see the wheels fall off completely. Simply put, the machinery is far, far too lean.

Nothing and no one can sustain 100% for any length of time. It’ll take very little to push it over, and for staff to operate in that environment is completely unsustainable.

WRT to emergency rooms/casualty, user-pays versions of these must be set up, there’s clearly a market for them. Our family GP used to have a sole-person practice in Fyshwick, and any time you were waiting for your spot, you’d be pushed back as blokes in fluro gear were brought in by their mates, blood dripping, items of clothing wrapped around various bits, or being supported by their mates as they staggered along. She ran an unofficial emergency department there, and it was very busy with walk-ins/stagger-ins.

Thumper 8:22 am 24 Jul 09

No way in hell can Canberra hospital cope with ANY extra stress on their emergency ward. They can’t often cope with normal traffic, let alone a serious epidemic.

This does appear to be the case. Let’s hope we don’t see a mass casualty disaster any time soon.

kakosi 10:38 pm 23 Jul 09

There just aren’t enough specialists on duty at Canberra Hospital emergency ward.

My mother has been left with kidney problems because a few years ago she came into a Canberra emergency department with a severe UTI – and due to a dual car crash (with three critical victims) arriving in emergency the same time as her – she was left for 12 hours without any treatment apart from panadol. This was despite being delirious with fever. A series of mistakes then left her dying with a severe infection and kidney failure. It took over two years and a LOT of luck for her to regain some health.

In retrospect she would probably have recovered from the infection in a few days if I had just given her the antibiotics I had left in my fridge and not taken her to hospital.

Another example of this emergency department not coping with normal traffic was when my brother fell off scaffold at his building site and was left for 8 hours in the emergency ward. No critical patients that night, just a full house. My brother had a cut from his knee to his ankle, deep enough for us to see the bone. Eventually he was sewn together by a doctor on the emergency bed (not a theatre) with no one assisting the doctor because there weren’t enough nurses on duty. He was then immediately sent home.

No way in hell can Canberra hospital cope with ANY extra stress on their emergency ward. They can’t often cope with normal traffic, let alone a serious epidemic.

gun street girl 7:13 pm 23 Jul 09

Agreed. The hospital regularly runs at over 100% capacity throughout the year. Add significant strain to that already unsafe occupancy rate, and you’re naturally going to see the wheels fall off completely. Simply put, the machinery is far, far too lean.

AG Canberra 4:35 pm 23 Jul 09

on topic – nope we can’t cope. One look at Calvary or CH emergency departments at the moment will show you how ill prepared our authoities are to deal with anything big (or infectious).

Remember our bushfires – at that time they were the biggest single casualty event ever handled by a hospital system in Australia. And we have not upgraded a single process, building or procedure to cope with anything like it happening again. (or to cope with two things happening at the same time – like a mild pandemic and a terrorist attack)

Jim Jones 3:47 pm 23 Jul 09

johnboy said :

engage brain JJ.

Killjoy.

fnaah 3:44 pm 23 Jul 09

The beauty of that Billy Bragg song is terribly overshadowed by the fact that it is… well… Billy Bragg.

johnboy 3:37 pm 23 Jul 09

engage brain JJ.

FC 3:28 pm 23 Jul 09

lol

Jim Jones 3:25 pm 23 Jul 09

Back on topic please johnboy.

johnboy 3:24 pm 23 Jul 09
johnboy 3:08 pm 23 Jul 09

Rumours Of War lyrics:

    There are soldiers marching on the common today
    They were there again this evening
    They paced up and down like sea birds on the ground
    Before the storm clouds gathering

    I must buy whatever tinned food is left on the shelves
    They are testing the air raid sirens
    They’ve filled up the blood banks and emptied the beds
    At the hospital and the asylum

    I saw a man build a shelter in his garden today
    As we stood there idly chatting
    He said “no
    no I don’t think war will come”
    Yet still he carried on digging

    Everything in my life that I love
    Could be swept away without warning
    Yet the birds still sing and the church bells ring
    And the sun came up this morning

    Life goes on as it did before
    As the country drifts slowly to war

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