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Health system in ‘crisis’ as emergency wait times increase

Emergency wait times are continuing to increase across NSW, pushing the health system “into crisis”.

According to new figures from the Australian Medical Association NSW, almost 30 per cent of patients are waiting too long for treatment in NSW emergency departments.

One in ten patients with life-threatening conditions, including chest pain and severe burns, were left waiting for half an hour, which is three times longer than the recommended wait time.

Shadow NSW Health Minister Ryan Park tells Steve Price there needs to be an increase in staffing to solve the issue.

“It’s quite clear from the doctors I speak to directly… that there is a really big problem with under-resourcing.

“The reality is if we don’t get control of this we are going to see our health system slip further and further into crisis.”

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But acting Secretary of NSW Health Susan Pearce says it’s the result of a significant increase in the number of people presenting at emergency departments.

“We encourage the community to think about the most appropriate place to go if they’ve got a less serious illness.”

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Listener Kayleen says she was taken to Westmead by ambulance with chronic back issues and was forced to wait 28 hours for treatment.

“I was put in and of of the treatment room several times.”

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