Hospitals under strain

Ambulances parked and waiting at Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d404238
Ambulances parked and waiting at Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d404238

WA Labor renewed its calls for Health Minister Kim Hames to step down from either his health or tourism portfolio in the wake of new reports that patients were being treated in hospital corridors.

The minister’s office told Comment News last week that Dr Hames totally rejected calls for him to step down and he would continue to serve in whichever roles the Premier required.

Department of Health website figures showed ambulances spent 1598 hours ramped outside Perth hospitals in June.

At Armadale, the ramping hours were 53 hours more than the same time last year, and 43 hours up on the ramping hours recorded this May.

A spokesman for the hospital said AKMH recorded one of the lowest ramping figures last month out of all Perth’s hospitals.

‘When ambulances are ramped at the Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital, patients are brought from the ambulance and into the Emergency Department where they will be triaged by a senior nurse,’ he said.

‘Patients remain inside the ED and are co-managed by ambulance officers until a bay becomes available.

‘The sickest patients who attend our ED, triage 1 and 2, are not ramped.

‘Patients assessed as well enough to wait in the ED waiting area are moved to the waiting area.

‘AKMH does not move patients from the ED to ‘ward corridors’ to ease ambulance ramping.

‘Ambulance ramping only affects the ED and does not have an impact on elective surgery lists.’

Total ramping
Hours: Armadale/Kelmscott

– June 2009: 17.7 hours
– June 2010: 5.6 hours
– June 2011: 5.1 hours
– June 2012: 30.4 hours
– June 2013: 83 hours