ACEM Queensland Deputy Chair Dr Shantha Raghwan said, “There is no such thing as ‘best’ or ‘worst’ performing emergency departments, as EDs are one part of an interconnected web of under-resourced, understaffed health services. Wait-time data, looked at in isolation, does not give a complete picture of the care received in the ED.”
ACEM reiterates that long waits for care, and negative patient experiences in the ED, are most often caused by a lack of resources in the broader health system.
These deficiencies include a lack of staffed hospital beds, inadequate mental health support, and insufficient places in aged care, the NDIS and acute mental health.
Dr Raghwan, who recently told media that Queensland ED doctors are “fed up, broken and exposed,” said, “In every one of Queensland’s emergency departments, we are all doing our best to provide the safest care in a stretched system. We must prioritise the sickest, most life-threatening cases first.
“People will receive the same dedication from staff in emergency departments, wherever they attend. If you need emergency care, please continue to come to your local ED.”
ACEM has been drawing attention to the crisis in the health system that leads to issues in EDs, and advocating for research-based, whole-of-system solutions.
ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards. www.acem.org.au
Melissa Howard [email protected] + 61 27 621 857