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Emergency doctor likens WA healthcare system to ‘a slow moving car crash’

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Emergency doctor likens WA healthcare system to ‘a slow moving car crash’

A war of words has erupted between the Health Minister and a peak medicine body in Western Australia.

In Parliament yesterday, Roger Cook was questioned about WA’s record ambulance ramping figures and blamed the COVID-19 pandemic and increased mental health presentations.

“We are in the blast zone of a global pandemic, as a result of that our hospitals are under a significant demand pressures, our hospitals are under the same pressures as all hospitals around this country.”

But Australasian College of Emergency Medicine WA chair Dr Peter Alley said there are other issues impacting WA’s struggling healthcare system.

“I think certainly the pandemic has been a factor, but it is like most things in health, much more complicated than that,” he told Liam Bartlett.

“The health system is just full and overflowing and that is why we have got ambulance ramping.

“There is just not enough capacity in the system.”

He said capacity issues at WA hospitals started long before the pandemic.

“This is a slow moving car crash that has been gradually happening over the last five to 10, to 15 years,” he said.

“They have neglected the capacity issues in the hospital and healthcare system as a whole.”

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(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.) 

Liam Bartlett
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