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Doctor warns of deadly ‘pandemic of overcrowding’ in WA emergency departments

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Doctor warns of deadly ‘pandemic of overcrowding’ in WA emergency departments

The WA Chair of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine is warning emergency departments at Perth’s major hospitals are at “tipping point”.

Fiona Stanley Hospital was on “code-yellow” yesterday morning, and the ICU was at “bed state black” in the afternoon.

Speaking with 6PR’s Liam Bartlett this morning, Dr Peter Alley said “code-yellows” have been a regular occurrence for some time now, and each one increases the likelihood of preventable deaths.

“We have a pandemic of overcrowding in our emergency departments and it is killing people,” he said.

“There is irrefutable scientific proof now that if you turn up to an emergency department that is overcrowded, to the levels that WA emergency departments are overcrowded, you have got a 10 per cent increase of dying.”

“There are preventable deaths happening in our system at the moment.

“It has been gradually getting worse for a long time … but we are at the tipping point where something radical needs to change .”

He wants to see an addition 400 to 500 beds opened in WA’s hospital system.

“There are beds still closed in our system for financial reasons, and they could be open within days, weeks or at the very most months.”

Click play to hear more. 

 

Liam Bartlett
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