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State health ministers must address emergency ward wait times

Photo: 'Ministers in the dark' on hospital woes
State health ministers must demand real-time reports on how long people are waiting in emergency departments, the body that trains emergency doctors says.

State health ministers don't understand how bad things are in public hospitals because middle managers are reluctant to tell them, the body that trains emergency doctors says.

Australasian College for Emergency Medicine president Simon Judkins has urged Queensland health minister Steven Miles to get real-time reports on how long people are waiting for care in emergency departments.

The pair will meet on Thursday after repeated calls from Dr Judkins to address emergency ward wait times around the state.
Dr Judkins said he wanted to ensure that health ministers were aware of the situation in emergency wards, which he has likened to being tortuous for some.

"I think that's well understood, we want hospitals and health departments to realise how prevalent this problem is. We've been talking about it for a long time but there hasn't been much action about it," Dr Judkins told AAP.

"I think in many places health ministers probably don't have a real understanding about what's actually happening, because there's multiple layers of bureaucracy between the emergency department and the health ministers."

Last week nine hospitals in the state's southeast were on code yellow, which is declared when hospitals are essentially full and cannot meet public demand for health services.

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