ACEM welcomes commitment to support better patient care

During a meeting with the state’s Health Minister and Department of Health representatives today it was specifically agreed that 24 hour waits in emergency departments (EDs) are unacceptable, and should not be seen as ‘business as usual’. We agreed that all leaders within hospitals and within Tasmanian health should be accountable for addressing unacceptable waiting times in the state’s largest hospitals.

“In particular, we need to see leadership from senior doctors and nurses in hospitals to implement necessary changes. We agreed that significant culture change is required, and that this process will not be easy. Just commenting on the culture is not enough; actually being a leader of change is much harder and, while there needs to be support in developing new leaders, some difficult decisions about who are the right people to move Tasmanian hospitals into a new era are also needed,” ACEM President Dr Simon Judkins said.

We were encouraged to hear of a number of developments being implemented under the Access Solutions Action Plan for Royal Hobart Hospital, including initiatives to improve access to data and the Medtasker system, to provide information as to where there are blocks in the system so that specific, effective solutions can be implemented.

Dr Marielle Ruigrok, ACEM’s Tasmanian Faculty Chair said: “We were also encouraged that the Minister and Secretary recognised the need for a state-wide response to address access block and that Launceston General Hospital also required a specific plan to address these issues.”

ACEM remains concerned that patients presenting to Tasmania’s largest hospitals are still facing unacceptably long waits for care, and the need to address these issues is urgent. We will work with stakeholders to support change that will improve this situation. Importantly, we will continue to measure waiting times in EDs at both Launceston and Hobart, and hold all leaders in Tasmanian health responsible for resolving these issues.

Background

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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