Tasmania Shadow Minister for Health Jeremy Rockliff
Early Discharge A Regular Occurrence If Budget Cuts Continue
Victor P Taffa
If the Government continues with its budget cuts to health, premature discharge of patients may become a regular occurrence for our hospitals, Shadow Minister for Health Jeremy Rockliff said.
“In today’s Examiner it is reported that a patient was woken up at 2 am and discharged because of a bed shortage.”
“Discharging patients at 2 am is just wrong, and raises questions about liability and duty of care. In this particular case the patient had just been given strong pain-killing medication, so who’s responsibility is it to ensure the patient is able to safely get home?”
“Michelle O’Byrne has created this problem with her cruel cuts to hospital budgets resulting in beds being closed at the LGH and put into storage off site.” Mr. Rockliff said.
“This has limited the flexibility of the LGH to cope with peaks in demand.”
“The early discharge of patients who are still unwell has been one of the frightening impacts of the Government’s budget cuts.”
“This was highlighted in a recent ANF survey, where 88.6% of nurses surveyed said they believed patient care had been compromised as a result of budget cuts and 32.7% were aware of serious/adverse incidents involving patients arising as a result of, or directly attributable, to budget cuts.” Mr. Rockliff said.
“Nurses have also revealed that there is additional pressure to get patients discharged, this is false economy. Discharging patients who are still unwell can lead to further hospital emergency presentations, re-admission and often longer stays.”
“The only solution for the Minister is to stop the cuts to health and reopen the hospital beds.” Mr. Rockliff said.