NEWS THAT MATTERS

Perrottet Government proposed staff cuts

Central Coast Emergency Departments are the worst in the state according to data revealed by the Bureau of Health Information (BHI). The dire numbers come as Central Coast Health attempt to cut even more critical staff from both Wyong and Gosford Hospitals.

L-R: Member for Gosford, Liesel Tesch, Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park and Martine Peters

2 September 2022

 

THE BHI in their Quarterly Report shows that the Central Coast Local Health District is the worst in the State with 51.5% of emergency department patients waiting more than four hours for treatment at Central Coast Hospitals.

 

The Report also revealed that wait times for ambulances and elective surgery have blown out significantly.

 

The new data only confirms that the Central Coast healthcare system has been pushed to the brink under Dominic Perrottet and the Liberals 12 years in power.

 

Adding insult to injury, Central Coast Health have put medical imaging staff on-notice as they propose to cut four full-time positions. The medical imaging staff provide vital services such as X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI scans and CT scans.

 

Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said, “Ambulance ramping is getting worse under the NSW Liberals. Emergency Department wait times are at record highs here on the Central Coast.”

 

“This is due to a decade of under investing, under resourcing and under staffing from the NSW Liberal Government. They are failing the very sick and unwell but they are most certainly failing front line health workers,” he said.

 

Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch said the staff at Gosford Hospital are at breaking point.

 

“Nurses in the community are telling me that shifts are often understaffed, and staff are being pushed to do overtime and extra shifts on a regular basis,” Ms. Tesch said.

 

“All this leads to incredible fatigue and poor morale in our wonderful health professionals.

 

“This information won’t shock any nurse or paramedic who works in local health system. Central Coast Health is in crisis and the solution isn’t to cut more vital staff from our hospitals.

 

“Under Dominic Perrottet and the NSW Liberal Government’s 12 years in power, our hospital system has been pushed to the brink. We are seeing the results of their negligence.”

 

Local business owner and mother of four, Martine Peters who shared her experience with Liesl Tesch and Ryan Park at Gosford Emergency Department, where she spent six hours waiting to see a doctor while pregnant.

 

“My triage nurse said that there was going to be a fairly huge wait,” said Ms Peters.

 

“When I asked him how long the wait would be he was very blank on his face and looked at his watch and said “I’d expect to see the sun come up if I were you” so that was pretty scary.

 

“I had to find a spot in a fair away from coughing people around me. I slept on my mum’s lap for six hours and was eventually seen by a doctor.

 

“I was put into a positive pressure room in the risk that I might catch something because I was so immune-compromised and said what is the point? I have already been lying in emergency with people coughing all around me for six hours.

 

“On Thursday morning I had a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia and very tragically on Friday I had to make the decision for Troy and to lose our baby and then I had to start chemotherapy.

 

“I really felt like that nurse was deflated. I wasn’t angry with him at all. I could see the staff at haematology are a lot more supported, I know they’ve got a lot more staffing and I honestly believe (in ED) they’re overworked, underpaid and under-supported and there didn’t look like there were many staff.”

 

Ms. Tesch says Martine’s story is sadly very common.

 

“Martine’s story is so similar to many of the people who contact my office,” said Ms Tesch.

 

“The stories I hear from nurses who work inside and the patients who experience our health system are heartbreaking.

 

“Our health system on the Central Coast is in crisis. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn’t been to an emergency department.

 

“Until people like Martine are able to access quality healthcare and our health workers are treated with dignity and paid correctly I will not rest.

 

“Thank you to the nurses and health workers who have been through Covid and still serve our community.”

 

BHI Data:

 

Emergency Department

 

The number of emergency department patients who waited over four hours for treatment in the month of March 2022:

 

  • 54.1% at Gosford Hospital (up by nearly 10% since March 2021)

 

  • 48.6% at Wyong Hospital (up by nearly 27% since March 2021)

 

  • 46.8% at Belmont Hospital (up by more than 30% since March 2021)

 

Ambulance Wait Times

 

Between January and March 2022, the number of priority 1 patients where an ambulance did not arrive within 15 minutes:

 

  • Lake Macquarie - East SA3 area (Swansea electorate) - more than 60% (up by 7%)

 

  • Gosford SA3 area (Gosford, Terrigal and parts of The Entrance electorates) - nearly 60% (up by 6.6%)

 

  • Wyong SA3 area (Wyong, parts of Swansea and The Entrance electorates) - more than 42% (up by 12.4%)

Elective Surgery

 

Between January and March 2022, wait times for non-urgent elective surgeries have increased by:

 

  • 21% at Gosford Hospital

 

  • 11.6% across the Central Coast Local Health District

 

  • 8.3% at Wyong Hospital

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