The peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand says the party who wins this weekend’s election must commit to taking action on its first day in office to improve a health system that is failing South Australians.

“The South Australian health system is in crisis. Acute care bed shortages, emergency department overcrowding and ambulance ramping are out of control,” Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) South Australian Faculty Chair Dr Thiru Govindan said.  “This is putting patients at an unnecessary higher risk of harm, creates an unsafe working environment for emergency department staff and fundamentally impairs our ability to provide high level care to the people of our community in their most vulnerable time.  For example, we have seen waits of over 24 hours for patients in the emergency department to get an inpatient bed, and recently a sick patient had to be transferred out of a major hospital emergency department to an intensive care unit in another hospital.

“Solutions throughout the hospitals, the whole of health system and our emergency departments that address these issues must be found.”

ACEM believes this includes a combination of increased inpatient resources and improved hospital management processes that involves emergency physician clinical expertise in hospital planning.

The College is also calling for mandatory reporting to the Health Minister of cases involving patients waiting more than 24 hours in the emergency department, and for the electronic data record system, Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS), to be improved to be fit for clinical use in emergency departments.

ACEM President Dr Simon Judkins added: “We need the political parties of this state to realise they need to step up and be accountable, as everybody who enters an emergency department deserves quality care from dedicated professionals, in a timely manner and with the greatest chance of positive outcomes.”


Andre Khoury
ACEM Public Affairs Manager
03 8679 8813
0498 068 023
[email protected]