‘Hospitals Playing Tetris’

Australian Medical Association

The AMA’s Public Hospital Report Card last Friday has been covered across Australian media over the past week.

AMA Vice President, Dr Danielle McMullen and AMA Emergency Medicine Representative Dr Sarah Whitelaw held a press conference at Parliament House last Friday to launch this year’s AMA Public Hospital Report Card.

Journalists present asked questions about the state of the hospital logjam and the backlog in elective surgery, as well as vaping and the rural GP shortage.

Australia’s media picked up on the press conference with coverage in all major TV networks and public broadcasters.

Launching the report card Dr Whitelaw told journalists “every day hospitals play Tetris trying to find every single available bed and every single available staff member to admit patients from the emergency departments.”

Dr McMullen told journalists “it’s not just our emergency departments in crisis. Our planned surgery wait times are the longest on record. That means that we’re seeing patients waiting in pain with disability, unable to work or participate in their family lives because they’re waiting too long for these essential surgeries.”

Dr McMullen was asked about politicians who were yet to decide whether they support the government’s vaping legislation.

Dr McMullen said the AMA has “written to all Senators and all parties to encourage them to support the legislative amendments that are put forward. We need to get vapes out of the hands of our children and young people.”

The New Daily reported Dr McMullen’s experience as a GP with kids and vaping.

“I have seen firsthand the harms they cause. I’ve had children in my clinics who are up in the middle of the night vaping and they can’t sleep through the night because of the level of nicotine addiction that they have and that is heartbreaking.”

/AMA/AusMed News. View in full here.