WA Hospitals Are Pulling Their Weight

WA Hospitals Are Pulling Their Weight

Western Australia Minister for Health Kim Hames

Four Hour Rule Program Targets On-Track

Victor P Taffa

Western Australia’s Four Hour Rule Program is on track to meet new targets in April, Health Minister Kim Hames said today.

Dr. Hames said the Four Hour Rule Program, which is due to be introduced nationally under the new National Health Reform, had already resulted in a big drop in access block across all Tertiary Hospitals.

“Access Block is when a Patient is forced to wait more than 8 Hours for a bed. This figure dropped to 10.8 % of patients in December, compared to 30 % for the same time in 2009.” Dr. Hames said.

The Minister said Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) was likely to hit the 85 % target set for the end of April.


More than 75 % of patients were admitted, discharged or transferred within four hours on average during the week ending on February 6, which is an increase of 41.1 % on the same time last year.  RPH has also had a number of days above the 85 % target and new strategies are still being rolled out.

“One of the latest innovations being trialled at RPH is the introduction of iPads which have a special task-tracker application which allows doctors to track patient treatment needs at night.” Dr. Hames said.

“If it continues to prove successful, we will roll it out to other sites.”

At Fremantle Hospital, the average was 71 % which is 25 % better than the same time last year.

“We are still implementing new strategies at our hospitals. One change due to happen next week at Fremantle Hospital is the introduction of a new nursing role to assist in the discharge patients who no longer need to be in hospital.” the Minister said.

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) has improved its Four Hour Rule Program results, however, is less likely to hit the target in April.

“This should not take away from the big improvements made at SCGH and some of the unique challenges faced at that hospital. SCGH has achieved almost 85 % on individual days and the current rate of 60.9 % is up 23 % on the same time last year.” Dr. Hames said.

“Some of the challenges for SCGH include a high number of mental health patients who require specialist care, and a big proportion of admissions. A number of new strategies to improve health care are under way.”

The Minister said Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) had also improved performance to above 95 % of patients admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

“PMH was already tracking very well when we started the program and its results have continued to improve which is exceptional.” Dr. Hames said.

“The effort of frontline staff at all hospitals should not be overlooked in achieving these results. I have heard first-hand from doctors and nurses about the new ideas they have come up with to ensure better treatment for patients and I commend their dedication and commitment to this Program.” Dr. Hames said.

This announcement by Dr. Hames is in stark contrast to the performance of the New South Wales Labor Government. Two women in very recent times have mis-carried in Toilets while waiting to be seen in Hospital Emergency Departments.

This same New South Wales Labor Government is also responsible for locking up Victor P Taffa in a Psychiatric Hospital on two occasions because of his support for Railway Expansion in New South Wales.