FMC faces fatal overcrowding

Today’s revelation by respected Noarlunga Emergency Department physician Dr Andrew Ramsay that the closure of the Noarlunga ED will push an additional 28,000 patients annually to Flinders Medical Centre ED shows the Government’s plan will deliver dangerous patient gridlock at FMC.

“Dr Ramsay’s news comes as SA Health’s Ambulance Dashboard shows the EDs at both Flinders Medical Centre and Noarlunga are operating over capacity,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“It beggars belief that the Weatherill Government plans to close Noarlunga’s ED when both EDs are operating over capacity on a Monday afternoon in late summer. Flinders ED will not cope with the surge of patients that the closure of Noarlunga will bring – particularly in the flu season.

“The Weatherill Government’s planned health cuts will come at great cost to the people of southern Adelaide who will now be funnelled into what will become Australia’s largest Emergency Department.

“FMC Emergency Department is already one of the worst performing major Emergency Departments in Australia and that situation will almost certainly deteriorate with a near 40 per cent increase in the number of presentations.

“What is even more disturbing is that the Weatherill Government is clinging to the dangerous fiction that the closure of the Noarlunga ED will result in just 500 additional ED presentations to Flinders.

“The Weatherill Labor Government’s plan is driven by saving money, not saving lives.

“We are in the dangerous situation where the Weatherill Government seems to be trying to bank the benefits while being blind to the risks.”

Dr Ramsay is representing 14 colleagues at Noarlunga ED who are gravely concerned about the Weatherill Government’s planned health cuts. Dr Lynton Stacey, former Head of the Noarlunga Hospital Emergency Department, has previously said that the FMC Emergency Department will face chronic overcrowding and ongoing ramping under Labor’s plan.

An almost 40 per cent increase in presentations will take the total number of FMC ED presentations to more than 100,000 a year. With 100,000 presentations a year, Flinders Medical Centre ED will be seeing 15% more presentations a year than Joondalup (WA), currently the largest ED in Australia.

“Residents of southern Adelaide should expect more ambulance ramping and longer waiting times for treatment in FMC’s Emergency Department as a result of the closure of Noarlunga’s ED and the closure of the Repatriation General Hospital,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade