The College extends deepest condolences to affected family and loved ones.

This is another in a series of devastating incidents and reports in relation to the extreme pressures and strain facing Victoria’s hospital and healthcare system, which have been compounding for years, particularly in rural and regional areas.

While, without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously exacerbated many of the problems facing the healthcare system, the systemic issues of emergency department bottlenecks (access block), ED crowding, ambulance ramping and healthcare system capacity have been present and building for years prior to the pandemic.

It has therefore been disappointing to see political leaders continuing to attribute so many of the devastating and dangerous issues confronting our healthcare system to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACEM Victoria Faculty Chair Dr Mya Cubitt said: “We have been contending with COVID-19 for more than two years now and continue to confront the many challenges it presents.”

“However, from long before COVID-19, emergency clinicians and colleagues across the system have been raising concerns about systemic issues contributing to dangerous conditions.

“Managing COVID-19 is now an established part of delivering healthcare, and the focus from here must be on finding the systemic, collaborative and consumer-focussed solutions to the many significant issues our system is currently facing.”