Waiting for an emergency

A sharp decline in the number of emergency department patients dealt with within 4 hours is further evidence of the damage the Weatherill Government’s Transforming Health program has done to South Australia’s public hospitals.

“The Weatherill Government’s disastrous management of South Australia’s hospital system has increased the risk to patient health,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

“To add insult to injury the Weatherill Government tried to bury long overdue statistics.”

SA Health’s website hasn’t updated emergency department data for more than a year but now the emergency department data has been quietly placed on another Government website.

The data shows that the Weatherill Government’s claims of improved waits for emergency departments are just more government spin.

In June, Health Minister Snelling told Parliament that:

‘Despite 3,450 more presentations to the Lyell McEwin Hospital since the realignments started, patients are spending 19 minutes less time waiting to be treated in the emergency department than they did the year before our modernisation.’

“The hidden figures show a very different story,” said Mr Wade.

“The national standard for Emergency Departments’ flow is based on the proportion of people who are waiting for 4 hours or less in the Emergency Department.

“The latest data shows that in the last year, March quarter to March quarter, the proportion of people presenting at the Lyell McEwin and being dealt with within four hours fell by 5 per cent.

“It was even worse at Modbury Hospital which saw a fall of 8.8 per cent.

“Transforming Health is having a negative impact city wide with an overall 4 per cent fall in the proportion of patients waiting four hours or less,” said Mr Wade.

“The Weatherill Government cannot be trusted to effectively manage health services and even less to be honest about what is happening on the ground.”