Ramping alarms

The time ambulances spend parked outside the front of Fremantle Hospital is becoming alarming, says Labor health shadow Roger Cook.

Last month ambos wasted 218.7 hours queued at the South Street hospital—that’s 57.7 hours more than in May and 37.9 hours more than the same time last year.

Mr Cook says the Barnett governemnt is lurching from one health crisis to another, with corridors now being used as de facto hospital rooms.

Breaking point

“It’s alarming that Perth hospitals are already at breaking point even before the traditional flu season has hit,” he says.

“Month after month the Barnett government claimed it would address the ramping crisis, yet today we learned Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital has resorted to treating patients in its corridors because there are not enough beds.

“Western Australians expect a health system where their loved ones can receive world-class treatment in a hospital bed—not stuck in an ambulance outside an emergency department and certainly not placed in a hospital corridor.”

Mr Cook says WA health minister Kim Hames isn’t spending enough time on the crisis.

“[He] is cruising to retirement and has proved himself incapable of managing both the health and tourism portfolios,” Mr Cook says.

“Dr Hames has also presided over delays at the new Fiona Stanley Hospital and he is still yet to appoint a director-general to oversee the health department.

by BRENDAN FOSTER

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