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Media Release: Greens Condemn Liberal-National Mismanagement Of Hospitals After Shocking Hospital Data

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Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
1 March 2023

The NSW Greens are calling for both parties to commit to nurse-to-patient ratios and a 15% pay rise for nurses, midwives and paramedics, after shocking new hospital data showed waiting times continue to blow out.

Recent hospital data has revealed that:

  • Emergency staff had to resuscitate a record 6175 critical “triage 1” patients and treat another 113,435 “triage 2″ patients in life-threatening conditions – more than at any time since reporting began in 2010.

  • Almost half of triage 2 “emergency” patients – people with suspected heart attacks, stroke and car crash victims – faced potentially damaging treatment delays, waiting longer than the 10-minute clinically recommended benchmark (45.4 per cent)

  • More than one in three “urgent” patients (people with major bleeding, severe dehydration or serious fractures) were still waiting for treatment to start more than 30 minutes after arriving at EDs.

  • 17,000 waitlisted patients breached their clinically recommended waiting time frames on the last day of 2022 – 15 times the number of patients who had been waiting too long for their procedures at the end of pre-pandemic 2019.

Quotes attributable to Dr Amanda Cohn, NSW Greens 2nd upper house candidate:

“As a GP who has worked in emergency departments across rural NSW I’ve experienced first hand the crisis in our public hospitals. Staffing shortages are the new normal with nurses and paramedics leaving the profession or moving interstate in droves due to poor pay and conditions here in NSW,” said Dr Amanda Cohn.

“A hospital is just a building without staff and the next NSW government must look after our frontline health workers.

“It’s getting harder and harder to see a GP, and people with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart failure are getting sicker until they need admission to hospital. Many medical emergencies are preventable if patients have access to ongoing quality and affordable primary care, not just urgent care centres for minor issues. The Greens proposal for public primary care services will address this need,” said Dr Amanda Cohn.

Quotes attributable to Cate Faehrmann, NSW Greens MP, health spokesperson and lead upper house candidate:

“The latest data just confirms what hospital staff have been telling me for years. A decade of Liberal-National Government has left our health system in chaos,” said Cate Faehrmann.

“The NSW Government loves to announce new hospitals and record spending but they refuse to invest in making sure those hospitals have enough staff. The next government must commit to nurse to patient ratios and a real wage rise for healthcare workers or we will see hospital waiting times continue to blow out.

“Only the Greens have put out a roadmap to solve the public hospital staffing crisis with safe nurse to patient staffing ratios and a 15% pay rise for nurses, midwives and paramedics. The other parties need to commit to that as a minimum or they’re putting people's lives at risk.

“The government must also do much more to prioritise community health and wellbeing, including by investing a greater portion of the health budget into long-term preventative health,” said Cate Faehrmann.

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Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
1 March 2023
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