In Health

Victoria Shadow Minister for Health David Davis

Brumby Failure On Southern Health Performance

Victor P Taffa

Dangerously Ill Patient Walks Out Of Casey Hospital

Premier John Brumby’s health system has failed yet another Victorian, this time a young woman who presented at Casey Hospital Emergency Department with an ectopic pregnancy.

Shadow Minister for Health David Davis said Casey Hospital, a facility of Southern Health, failed to respond adequately and left a vulnerable woman without adequate support in her hour of need.

“Like so many before her, the woman walked out despite being desperately ill.” Mr. Davis said.

“Hundreds of patients walk out of Southern Health facilities every week without receiving the attention they need and deserve.”

According to Freedom of Information data obtained by the Opposition, in just three months between 1 July and 30 September last year 2,256 patients walked out of Southern Health facilities and 720 of those left Casey Hospital.

Extrapolated over 12 months these figures suggest around 2,800 people seeking care walk out of Casey Hospital Emergency Department each year, and up to 9,000 patients walk out across the whole of Southern Health’s Emergency Department Network.

“No one knows what happens to these patients, many of whom may be very sick.” Mr. Davis said.

“Labor was warned about the risks of walkout patients by the Auditor-General in his report on managing emergency demand several years ago.”

“It’s about time John Brumby and the Labor MPs who claim to represent Casey were held to account and forced to explain their mismanagement of the health system and one of our largest health networks.”

“Eleven years ago John Brumby promised to fix our health system but this week’s terrible case at Casey Hospital, and others like it, show he has failed.”

“Even in Opposition Mr Brumby promised to ‘pay attention to the basics’ but in Government he has failed to invest in the system so that it could properly manage a serious case such as an ectopic pregnancy.”

“The most recent Your Hospitals report shows John Brumby failed six of his own eight benchmarks at Casey Hospital and this tragic case shows he is failing in a very human sense.” Mr. Davis said.

The figures for July to December 2009 for the Casey Hospital ED show:

  • 30 % of category 2 emergency department patients were not seen within 10 minutes
  • 45 % of category 3 emergency department patients were not seen within 30 minutes
  • 23 % of patients waited more than eight hours in the emergency department before being transferred to a hospital bed
  • 23 % of non-admitted patients waited longer than four hours in the emergency department before being treated.

Walkouts at Southern Health (1 July 2009 to 30 September 2009)
Source: Opposition Freedom of Information request

Monash Medical Centre ED
Presentations – 15, 349
Walkouts – 742 (4.83 %)

Dandenong Hospital ED
Presentations – 11, 375
Walkouts – 794 (6.98 %)

Casey Hospital ED
Presentations – 11,263
Walkouts – 720 – (6.39 %)


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