HACSU seeks answers on hospital ramping of Ambulances

Posted on
October 24, 2017
Media Releases

Yesterday saw extremely high demand at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH). At one point a patient brought to hospital by ambulance was forced to queue in the ambulance ramping bay outside the hospital because the Emergency Department had no room or capacity to accommodate another patient.

Hospital ramping of Ambulances continues to be a significant problem despite the Government claiming it would decline after the winter flu season. However, reality does not live up to the rhetoric. The Tasmanian hospital system continues to struggle to cope even though the flu season is behind us.

HACSU believes the Government has not been responsive enough and releasing funding for short term positions has proven to be an unsuccessful recruiting strategy.

The Health Minister continues to claim that there are enough staff to run our hospitals yet the evidence keeps proving that this is not true. The incidence of nurses working double shifts has increased again despite it being Government and agency policy to phase out double shifts. Paramedic overtime hours are also at a significant high point.

There is a solution and it is simple: staff on the ground, working in our hospitals.

Quotes attributable to Robbie Moore, HACSU Acting State Secretary

“We understand that the health system requires an additional 250 nurses and 80 extra paramedics. These figures are backed up by internal review documents that never seem to see the light of day.”

“On Monday we observed a patient being ramped in the Ambulance parking area due to lack of space in the Emergency Department, caused by bed block, as admitted patients could not access space on the wards due to a lack of open beds.”

“Ramping continues to be a massive problem. We think that the community is often unaware of the consequences of ramping.”

“If a patient needs help in George Town and the nearest Ambulance is ramped at the LGH, they won’t be getting that emergency response for at least 30 minutes. The same applies to New Norfolk or Huonville and the nearest Ambulance is ramped at the RHH. It is not in the best interests of Tasmanians for the Government to allow ramping to continue.”

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email assist@hacsu.org.au or complete our online contact form