South Australia Shadow Minister for Health Rob Lucas
ED Ramping Concerns At NRAH
Victor P Taffa
Shadow Minister for Health Rob Lucas said today doctors held ‘grave concerns’ that ramping problems experienced at the Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) would be replicated at the New Royal Adelaide Hospital (NRAH).
SA Health sources have confirmed that the Weatherill Labor Government has adopted exactly the same design for the Emergency Department at the NRAH as already exists at the FMC.
The ramping problems that have plagued FMC for years have been as a result of the ED layout which does not provide corridor spaces next to the ED which exists in the existing RAH and other hospitals to cope with busy periods.
Doctors at the existing RAH have expressed ‘grave concerns’ about the design of the ED at the NRAH in a series of meetings with NRAH project director David Panter since last year.
However they have become increasingly frustrated and angry at their concerns being ignored.
Doctors have also indicated that the NRAH will have a shortage of about 20 acute care beds to cope with ED overflow compared to the existing RAH which will add to the potential for ramping problems at the NRAH.
South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association (SASMOA) has also recently raised these concerns about the design of the ED and potential ramping problems in a meeting with Health Minister Snelling without any solution.
“It seems incomprehensible that the Minister and Weatherill Labor Government would ignore the views of the experts and agree to a design which was so flawed that it had led to continuing ramping problems at the FMC.” Mr. Lucas said.
“The Weatherill Government has agreed to pay $400 Million a year for 30 years just for the non-clinical services at the NRAH and yet it appears we will end up with a hospital with the same ramping problems as at the FMC.”
“Mr. Snelling must indicate today whether he has taken any action to try and correct the design problems at the NRAH that have been identified by doctors at the RAH.” Mr. Lucas said.