Statement from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine re Mersey Community Hospital.
Attributable to Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) President Dr Simon Judkins
- ACEM will always support its members and trainees advocating for better patient care.
- We support Dr Marielle Ruigrok, who is a Fellow of the College, and her call for improved patient outcomes at Mersey Community Hospital.
- ACEM has been outspoken about the issues of access block and emergency department overcrowding across Australia, including in Tasmania, and the implications for patient safety. We know extended waiting times in the emergency department are associated with poor health outcomes and excess mortality and morbidity, so the concerns raised are real and the risk to patients is evident.
- The main cause of long delays and overcrowded emergency departments is the ongoing issue of admitted patients having to stay longer in the emergency department because there aren’t inpatient beds.
- More needs to be done to reduce patient risk of poorer outcomes, and to support emergency physicians by providing safe workplaces that value clinical expertise in decision making outcomes.
- Leadership at the top of key hospitals must listen to their frontline workers or risk the fracturing of a workforce already on the brink.
- ACEM will closely monitor the situation and further developments, and would be happy to work with the government, hospital leadership and health department executives to develop the actions to improve patient outcomes.
ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards. www.acem.org.au
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