Over 500 code yellow internal emergencies highlight strained hospital system

Aug 14, 2022 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

The McGowan Government must commit to turning their shocking record on hospital bypass around, by committing to essential reform and building capacity across the health system according to the Opposition.

New figures revealed in follow up questions from Estimates have revealed the extent of pressure facing the WA Health system with 513 code yellows across the health system in 2021-2022.

“For Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital this represents over 140 code yellows over a 12 month period, representing about one bypass every two or three days, and points to a health system which is struggling to cope.

“It is particularly concerning to see these figures for Perth Children’s Hospital which has called almost 90 bypasses over a 12 month period, and directing young patients away from this specialist hospital is of particular concern.

“To also see our premier Maternity hospital experiencing one of the highest rates of code yellow bypass must have also been very distressing for women and the dedicated staff who work at this specialised tertiary hospital.

“It follows previous figures which illustrated over 310 maternity bypasses over a year under this Government, pointing to an unacceptable lack of capacity and support for women who want choice where they birth in this state.

“According to the AMAWA we have never seen in our state’s history this level of bypass that has become commonplace under the McGowan Governments watch.

“It is shocking that the McGowan Government have been so slow to try to turn these capacity issues around.

“It is inexcusable that only late last year they were still making an eleventh-hour commitment for an additional 530 beds across the health system, which are still being rolled out.

“For the McGowan Government to brush off these bypasses, which are directing patients away from hospital due to an internal emergency as “just being busy” is not acceptable.

“The McGowan Government have failed to put the health of Western Australians first and our patients and health workers deserve better.”