The Government of Western Australia announced today that time targets for patients presenting to emergency departments to receive care, based on HAT, will be implemented state-wide. HAT are evidence-based measures that determine the safest wait times for patients to receive emergency healthcare, relevant to the urgency of their needs, with no one waiting longer than 12 hours in an emergency department.
ACEM WA Chair Dr Peter Allely said, “To fix a problem, we must first know what success looks like, we must know what to aim for. ACEM’s Hospital Access Targets can guide us towards achieving the safest wait-times for patients to receive emergency healthcare. These targets won’t fix the health system, but they can act as drivers for change, along with innovation and accountability.”
The extreme pressure on WA’s health system is seen clearly in emergency departments. These problems have been building for decades, are not due to COVID-19, and will take time and collaboration across the entire health system to fix.

ACEM recognises and appreciates that the Government of Western Australia and WA Health are committed to implementing evidence-based solutions to these issues. ACEM encourages other governments to follow WA’s lead and work with Australia’s emergency doctors to adopt ACEM’s Hospital Access Targets as a framework for improvement.

“Now that Western Australia knows what to aim for, we can all work together – governments, healthcare workers, and all other stakeholders across the heath system – towards a future where all people get the healthcare they need, when and where they need it.”
For further information on HAT or for support in adoption of these measures, please contact ACEM Executive Director, Policy, Research and Partnerships, Dr Robert Lee [email protected].

Dr Peter Allely is available for further comment. Please contact ACEM Media Relations Manager Melissa Howard [email protected] or + 61 427 621 857.
ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards.