Campbelltown MP Greg Warren has demanded the state government step in and re-open Campbelltown Hospital’s after hours GP service to deal with the crisis engulfing the hospital’s emergency department.
lu season is upon us and you can bet your bottom dollar that the number of patients who present to the ED this winter will well eclipse that 20,010 mark recorded from January to March this year,” Mr Warren said.
Figures obtained from the Bureau of Health Information showed that in a three month period beginning in January this year, there were 21,010 patients who presented to the ED – 4094 more than the same period two years earlier.
“The increasing demand being placed on Campbelltown Hospital’s emergency department is crippling the ability of over-worked staff to treat patients as quickly and as efficiently as possible”, Mr Warren said.
Mr Warren added that it was clear the ED was bursting at the seams given only half of the patients who presented to the ED from January 2019 through to March 2019, left the department within the desired four hour period.
A lack of staff and resources, the rapid rise in the Macarthur region’s population and the closure of the hospital’s after hours GP service, have all contributed to the ED now reaching this crisis point.
“The increasing demand being placed on Campbelltown Hospital’s emergency department is crippling the ability of over-worked staff to treat patients as quickly and as efficiently as possible” – Greg Warren MP
The closure of the after hours GP service in 2018 was instigated by the federal government, however, Mr Warren and Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park said there was no reason the state government couldn’t re-open and fund the clinic at the hospital.
“We are talking about the seriously ill needing to be able to access medical attention when they need it most. People don’t just get sick in business hours’” Mr Park said.
A new after hours clinic was opened on Chamberlain Street following the hospital clinic’s closure, however, Mr Warren said the proximity of the previous service to the ED was what made it so valuable and effective.
“I’m sure the staff at the Chamberlain Street service do a wonderful job, but the proximity of the former after hours clinic at the hospital to the ED – about a 30 metre walk – was why it was so effective.
“To get from the ED to the Chamberlain Street service, patients must get in their car and drive. That is not only inconvenient, it’s also irresponsible of a government to force sick patients into such a scenario,” Mr Warren added.
Mr Warren said the re-opening of the after hours clinic at the hospital would make a big difference, however, a significant amount of resources and extra staff were also needed to cater for the ever-increasing demand being placed on the ED.
“The after hours clinic must be re-opened now!” he exclaimed.