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AMA Tasmania welcomes the summit scheduled in June to discuss the crisis in the Emergency Department of the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Vice President of the AMA, Dr John Davis said that as the organisation that represents doctors across the acute and primary sectors, the AMA is well placed to work with government on solutions.

“Our doctors are on the frontline in the emergency department and on the wards dealing with the increasing number of patients. They are the general practitioners whose patients are affected by the crisis.

“We know the pressures staff are under and would welcome the opportunity to work with government around the solutions.

“Staff are at breaking point and need solutions to be acted upon now. They cannot wait for the planned expansion of the ED.

“This is not about needing to ramp up with more staff for the oncoming flu season and then ramp down again.

“The increasing pressure on doctors and nurses as well as other staff in the ED has been growing consistently worse and worse with the expanding demand for services across the year.

“There is a particular problem with the number of vulnerable patients stuck in the ED for over twelve hours.

“It is a common occurrence for the night shift at the RHH ED to start with all beds already full of admitted or waiting to be admitted, patients. This creates the bed block that sees new patients presenting to the ED ramped in Ambulances or waiting in the waiting room beyond clinically recommended times to see a doctor.

“While the government has provided an additional $5 million, it appears to have done little to address the on-going issues of not enough doctors, nurses or support staff to deal with the ever-increasing demand on services.

“More funding is required and urgently for the RHH and the Launceston General Hospital, which is suffering from similar problems.

“The fact that every day more and more doctors and nurses are publicly speaking out about the problems in the ED says volumes for the need for urgent action. These people do not speak out lightly.” >>> ENDS


MEDIA CONTACT:

Dr John Davis – Vice President AMA Tasmania – 0488 142 033
Lara Giddings – CEO AMA Tasmania – 0400 417 160


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