In the lead up to the 2022 Victorian state election, ACEM has determined solutions for the dangerous systemic issues in the Victorian health system that lead to access block, ambulance ramping, excessive waits for care and poorer patient outcomes, including avoidable deaths. Systemic pressures, as well as interrelated and complex social issues, decrease safety in Victorian emergency departments (EDs), for everyone.
To help make EDs safer, ACEM is calling for:

  • At least 1,000 fully staffed ED-accessible hospital beds added across Victoria over the next five years, allocated according to operational need.
  • 24-hour security guards posted at every ED, appropriately trained to support patients and staff, and employed directly by the hospital.
  • An increase in non-clinical staff such as cleaners, patient support assistants and clerical workers, to support healthcare workers and patients by completing tasks that do not require high-level clinical training.
  • A 20% increase in full-time inpatient specialist and allied health support workers in the public hospital system, to ensure access to services seven days per week, and outside business hours. This must include ED-based social workers with training and expertise in common emergency care social problems such as homelessness, child-at-risk, family violence and rapid referral to community-based aged and disability care.
  • The implementation of ACEM’s Hospital Access Targets into a centralised real-time data dashboard at every ED in Victoria, to drive improvement processes.

ACEM urges all political parties contesting the 2022 Victorian state election to work with the College, and other frontline healthcare stakeholders on the collaborative development of policies aimed at advancing and integrating Victoria’s healthcare system. The College will publicly support evidence-based and collaborative pre-election pledges aimed at improving safety and patient flow in the acute health system.
ACEM President Dr Clare Skinner said, “Every patient, carer, healthcare worker and hospital staff member need a safe place to receive, support and deliver urgently needed healthcare.”
“The problems in the Victorian health system are complex and will take time to address, and we urge commitment to long-term measures. However, there are a range of short-term solutions that can be implemented quickly to help make emergency departments, and the people who need them, safer.”
“In the lead up to the Victorian election, we encourage all parties to collaborate with healthcare stakeholders on policies that address the shortfalls in staff and resources and improve patient flow in Victoria’s emergency departments and health care system, now and into the future.”
“Because safer emergency departments mean safer patients, safer healthcare workers, and a safer future – for everyone.”

ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards.

Media Contact:
ACEM Media Relations Manager, Melissa Howard [email protected] + 61 427 621 857