Red squaring the new normal under McGowan Government’s chaotic health management

Aug 18, 2022 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

The acknowledgement that treating patients in corridors is now managed by a concept known as “red squaring” at Fiona Stanley Hospital highlights another shocking new normal in the McGowan Government’s poor standard of management across the health system.

This follows comments leaked in an email from health management which described the hospital’s emergency department as being an extreme risk prone environment from senior management.

The email also stated some patients were waiting more than one day to be seen in ED and issued an urgent directive to doctors to discharge or transfer patients if possible.

“There is simply no way of spinning this – the McGowan Government has failed on its election commitment to keep Western Australians safe and it has failed our health system,” Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.

“To see red tape now replace the privacy of rooms in our hospital wards because of a lack of capacity is a distressing visual marker of just how bad the situation in our hospitals has become after five years under the McGowan Government’s watch.

“With the CHO stating we are over the worst of the COVID peak, the government has run out of excuses for this level of dysfunction in our health system, and unfortunately it is WA patients and health workers who are paying the price.

“It must be incredibly disheartening for our frontline health workers to have to try and maintain a high standard of care in these conditions, when patients are being treated in ‘red tape cubicles’ in a corridor.

“In a State with a $5.7bn surplus, this is absolutely unacceptable practice and the Health Minister cannot allow this “red square” approach to become the new normal.

“The McGowan Government has essentially run down the health system to this point where we have a beds availability crisis, combined with dangerous levels of ramping, and now some patients waiting more than one day to be seen in a major tertiary hospital ED.
“It is an absolute shambles.”