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Health crisis impacts emergency departments

Patients presenting to Victorian emergency departments may expect greater delays due to the growing number of bed closures.

Dr Anthony Cross, president of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), believes that the closure of over 340 beds across the state could potentially lead to adverse outcomes.

“Our main concern continues to be the safety and quality of care being received by patients presenting to our emergency departments,” Cross said.

“The number of patients needing emergency care across Victoria continues to increase, yet we are facing the extraordinary situation of hospital services being reduced.”

ACEM and other health bodies are concerned with the pressure this will be placing on the rest of the health system.

“If beds, staff or services are cut from one hospital, all those patients have to go somewhere else,” Cross warned.

“This will lead to even more overburdened, overcrowded emergency departments filled with patients who can’t be admitted because there are no beds, and can’t be discharged because they are too ill.”

ACEM believes that both the state and federal governments should consider their positions on the matter, and that the cuts warrant serious review.

“Fundamentally, this is about the patients; members of our community who deserve access to timely, quality care,” Cross said.

“We want to be able to provide that, but we can only do so much with what we have.”

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