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AMA: ramping ban not the answer

Banning ambulance ramping is not the solution to patient waiting times and will put more pressure on Perth hospital staff, the Australian Medical Association says.

West Australian health minister Kim Hames told parliament on Wednesday that staff at Royal Perth, Fiona Stanley and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital will have to take responsibility for patients brought in via ambulance within 30 minutes of their arrival from July 1.

Hames said he had given up trying to work out the cause of ramping because it seemed to spike on some days for no reason.

AMA WA president Michael Gannon told AAP increased ramping times were symptomatic of WA's hospital bed shortage and the only cure was to invest in public health.

Gannon said the ban would take pressure off paramedics only to dump it on hospital staff.

"You can't keep asking the doctors and nurses who work in hospitals to do the same amount with less," he said.

The government was hoping opening Fiona Stanley Hospital last year would ease the ramping problem across Perth but the number of hours paramedics have to wait has jumped.

In April, 3069 hours of ramping had been clocked since the start of year, up almost 17 per cent on the same period in 2014.

Hames said hospitals would probably need to have a minimum of two staff dedicated to taking over patients from the paramedics.

Gannon said the minister would have to find the money to pay for extra staff.

A St John Ambulance spokesman said details of how the changes would work were being finalised and the organisation was supportive of measures to reduce ramping.

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