June ambulance ramping figures worst start to the flu season on record

Jun 29, 2023 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

The State’s public hospital system has had a horror start to the flu season with monthly ambulance ramping hours the highest so far for 2023 and the highest June figures on record.

Ambulances spent 5,360 hours parked outside hospital emergency departments in June waiting for their patients to be seen, a 70-hour increase on the next highest June figuresin 2021.

Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said the figures represented a disastrous start to the flu season and showed the Cook Labor Government’s Emergency Department Reform package, which included the State Health Operations Centre to address pressures on our hospital emergency departments, had achieved less than nothing.

“It’s difficult to understand how this Labor Government can keep telling us they are throwing so much time, effort and money at this problem but achieving so little,” Ms Mettam said.

“June is just the beginning of the flu season so it must be very worrying for our already stretched health professionals to think about what’s going to happen in the next couple of months.”

Ms Mettam said Labor were interested in health only insofar as it could be used for political point scoring.

“Premier and failed health Minister Roger Cook waged political warfare around ambulance ramping hours when he was Shadow Health Minister, since then ramping has risen by more than 600 per cent and now he has nothing to say,” she said.

“If Premier Cook wants to get political about health in the face of an election, he should fix the ambulance ramping at Rockingham Hospital which last month hit an all-time monthly record high of 390 hours a month.

“Under Labor, our hospital system has been on a six-year slide into chaos and the people of Western Australia and our health workers deserve better.”

Ms Mettam said the release this week of the 2023 ‘Your Voice in Health’ Employee Engagement Survey, which showed that three in four WA health workers didn’t feel valued and respected and didn’t feel their organisation cared for their health and wellbeing, was a damning indictment on moral among our health workers.

“Also very telling was that more than 75 per cent of workers didn’t feel their employer, the Cook Labor Government, were honest in their communications with them,” she said.