ACT health system in ‘crisis’, says Dunne

THE ACT health system is in “crisis mode”, says MLA Vicki Dunne after revealing that for three consecutive months the Canberra Hospital was in “crisis mode”, where internal incidents threatened to disrupt the flow of critical services to patients.

Liberal health spokeswoman Vicki Dunne.

In an answer to an Assembly Question on Notice, Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris confirmed that Canberra Hospital was at Alert Level 3 throughout July, August and September.

Alert Level 3 is an emergency response code to deal with any “internal incident that threatens to overwhelm or disrupt services” and can be triggered by two of more of the following incidents: 

  • Hospital capacity is greater than 100 per cent;
  • More than 11 bed-booked patients in ED;
  • All surge beds open;
  • Unable to decant resuscitation room;
  • Unable to admit patients from other hospitals;
  • Isolation beds unavailable and cohorting unable to be implemented;
  • ICU over capacity; or
  • Considering cancelling surgery.

“Minister Fitzharris keeps assuring Canberrans that our health system is in good form when the naked truth is; our health system is in crisis mode,” Dunne, the Liberal health spokeswoman, said. 

“We have missing and manipulated health data, we have long and painful waiting times, we have overflowing emergency departments, and we have high risk critical infrastructure.

“Minister Fitzharris should confirm exactly how many, and which criteria triggered an Alert Level 3. She should deliver a comprehensive and actionable strategy to prevent this from happening again.”    

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