- On December 11, 2019
AMA (NSW) President, Dr Kean-Seng Lim, says the latest Hospital Quarterly report from the Bureau of Health Information shows a health system in a critical condition.
“This is the second time this year we’ve set an all-time record for the number of emergency department presentations in NSW.
“It’s the third time this year we’ve seen a quarter with more than 750,000 emergency department presentations – and this is the only year we’ve seen quarters exceeding this figure.
“That means, so far this year, our hospitals have effectively treated a group about the size of Brisbane’s entire population.
“This is not normal, this is not something our hospitals were built to cope with, and it’s producing conditions our health staff should not be expected to work under.
“Let alone the effects this is having on the patient experience.
“These hospital figures show the pointy end of a health system in a critical condition,” Dr Lim said.
“Both the Federal and State Governments need to stop applying simple supply-side thinking.
“Building more hospitals and increasing the number of beds is helpful in the short-term but it doesn’t fix the underlying problem.
“We need to reduce the extreme levels of demand placed on our hospitals.
“To do this we need integrate care more effectively between GPs and hospitals, improve our use of technology, and set up systems aimed at preventing the need for patients to go hospital.
“This can be achieved and there are examples of this happening in small pockets but it needs to be done on a much wider scale,” Dr Lim said.
“None of our hospitals were built for this level of demand and it is showing in the longer times spent in emergency and longer waits for treatment.
“Doctors, nurses, and other health staff are working heroically under very poor conditions but the pressure is just too great and we are seeing this in the performance figures,” Dr Lim said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0419 402 955