South Australia Dragging The Chain On ED Performance

South Australia Dragging The Chain On ED Performance

South Australia Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade

Weatherill Government’s Lack Of Urgency On Emergency

Victor P Taffa

A new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Report (AIHW) report shows that the Weatherill Government is failing patients presenting to South Australia’s overburdened Emergency Departments (ED).

In the critical emergency category for ED presentations seen on time, we are the worst performing State – just 74 % of emergency cases are seen on time compared with a national average of 82 %.  All other States are in the 80’s (page 25)




In the last two years, South Australia has also stalled in terms of the proportion of cases completed within four hours – 64 % in 2011-12 and 2013-14 – whereas nationally there has been a 9 % improvement from 64 % to 73 %. (page31)

“South Australia’s public hospitals and the patients presenting to them are suffering as a direct result of the mismanagement of the Weatherill Labor Government.” Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade said.

“The Weatherill Government has failed to grasp the urgency of the overcrowding in Adelaide’s public hospital emergency departments.”

“Six weeks after the Weatherill Government promised more mental health beds to ease emergency department overcrowding not a single additional bed has been delivered in metropolitan Adelaide.” Mr. Wade said.

“The lack of available mental health beds means mental health patients can spend days waiting in metropolitan hospital EDs.”

“At one point last week more than a quarter of RAH emergency department beds were occupied by mental health patients waiting for relocation.” Mr. Wade said.

The AIHW “Australian Hospital Statistics 2013-14: Emergency Department Care” also shows that South Australia has gone backwards while every other jurisdiction in Australia improved in terms of the proportion of emergency department patients seen on time (page 24).

Since 2011-12, the proportion of people seen on time has fallen from 76 % to 73 %.  Nationally, it has gone the other direction – from 72 % to 75 %.