Highest ramping month on record despite Labor government’s attempt to take control

Jul 29, 2022 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

St John Ambulance WA has so far reported 6531 hours of ramping in July – the worst monthly figure on record with three days of records to go.

The failure means ambulances have been parked outside WA hospitals for more than 230 hours every day in July. It is also more than 10 times the July 2017 figure.

“This shocking record lies squarely at the feet of the McGowan Government – there is no one else to blame,” Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.

The appalling figure comes two months after the McGowan Government “embedded” senior police and health officials into the St John Ambulance control centre to oversee the operation and make sure all available resources were used.

It also follows initiatives to use firefighters to drive ambulances when crews are short and the use of police officers to transport patients in some cases.

“The government is trying to shuffle emergency services personnel around in a desperate attempt to divert attention from the actual cause of the problem – a lack of capacity in the hospitals to actually accept patients,” Ms Mettam said.

“It’s clear the government is running out of people to blame and no amount of deflection, diversion or embedding will fix the problem until this government addresses the root cause – capacity in hospitals.”

Ms Mettam said the WA public deserved to know when and how this government would actually implement strategies to address this critical issue rather than the current bandaid solutions.

“When the McGowan Government was elected, it promised to fix what it was then calling a ramping “crisis” with policies including Medihotels that would reduce the pressure on emergency departments and free up beds,” Ms Mettam said.

“So far, ony one Medihotel has been delivered – four beds at RPH – in more than five years in government.

“Instead, the latest budget had money for reform packages and business cases but the Minister herself stated there would be no “quick fix”. It’s clear the McGowan Government is in over its head and has forgotten the promises it made when elected and has no idea how to manage the health system.”