How to unclog Emergency Departments in Aussie Hospitals

Our emergency departments are not coping with the huge numbers of patients seeking attention. People in desperate need often take eight hours to be seen by medical staff. There are even cases of people having to queue up outside emergency departments after having been brought there by ambulances. These are obviously patients, suspected heart attacks, stroke victims and asthmatics who require urgent attention.

We have been told that on Friday and Saturday nights the emergency facilities are over stretched because those are the nights that drunks and drug addicts clog the system. Mayhem is the result as those people attack staff and threaten waiting patients.

Doctors and nurses find themselves dealing with ranting, vomiting and convulsing outpatients who are a danger to themselves and to anyone around them.

The sad thing about it all is that the same alcoholics and druggies will be back the following weekend since drug and alcohol abuse are here to stay.

Since they are entitled to medical assistance I would like to propose that such people should be taken to a separate clinic in the hospital in which staff have been trained to handle dangerous and aggressive patients.

This would remove bottlenecks (pardon the pun) in the ordinary emergency departments. It would keep staff and patients safer so that they can do the job of attending to emergencies without the problem of raging and uncontrollable abusers.

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4 thoughts on “How to unclog Emergency Departments in Aussie Hospitals

  1. Great idea!–but isn’t the devil in the detail? e.g.Imagine being the poor, rushed triage person who sent, for instance, a hypoglycaemic diabetic down the drunks’ tube to dry out–where, instead, he went comatose and shuffled off the coil!The difference is not easy for ANYONE to spot in a hurry, so I believe.

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  2. Good point, Max, but I’m referring mainly to those drunks and druggies who are violent and who pose a threat to waiting patients and overpowered staff. I agree, however, that there would occasionally be some mix-ups, but then this current method is not working well since the violent patients take up a disproportionate amount of attention. We already spend a lot of resources, both medical and police on people who are repeat offenders. Ordinary sick people don’t require police while drunks and druggies are usually picked up by cops.

    Max, think of the number of people who die from an hypo attack because they have to wait too long in an emergency department.

    What do you suggest we do instead?

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  3. I don’t have an instead, Lili — I’d be very happy to see a watertight scheme up and working, but my cynical nature doesn’t help me to guess who might be capable of designing same! Incidentally, I’ve known sick diabetics collared by the boys in blue. Cheers

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  4. Max, we can only hope that something good will come out of these changes. Improving the Health system is indeed very daunting and I am not sure that Rudd has the integrity to think of the good of the people.
    That is a shame about sick diabetics whom you’ve witnessed.

    I remember when I had a terrible reaction to MSG and collapsed in a restaurant. My husband had to reassure the staff that I had not had a drink, so I can understand how the police could misjudge the situation.
    Let’s face it, Max, if the solution had been simple it would have been done already.

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