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Victorian parents will get real time information about ED wait times

Photo: Vic kids' hospital ED tracked in real time
Victorian parents can now check a website to see how busy Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital's emergency department is at any time of day.

Victorian parents will get real time information about wait times at the emergency room of Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, thanks to a new online tracker.

The state government says the tracker, available via a website, rates activity at the emergency department from normal to extremely busy, 24-hours a day.

It's aimed at helping parents decide whether to take their sick children to a local hospital or GP, instead of the children's hospital emergency department.

Data shows more than 60 per cent of parents currently bypass their local hospital to attend the major children's hospital emergency department, which can mean long delays for patients suffering less serious illness or injury.
The tracker will also allow parents to bypass calling the children's hospital to gauge wait times, which account for 80 per cent of weekend calls to the facility, Health Minister Jill Hennessy said on Thursday.

"Now you can get that information just on the web ... and of course relieve our wonderful Royal Children's Hospital staff to get on with providing care," she told reporters.

The hospital treated 17,468 patients in the quarter ending March, up from 17,361 last year.

The tracker can be accessed at www.rch.org.au/emerg_rch/status/

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