Cover-up claim on ‘environment of chaos’

So, it not just the US with these problems: The Courier-Mail: Cover-up claim on ‘environment of chaos’ [10aug05].

HOSPITAL emergency departments across Queensland are in meltdown as patients queue on trolleys for beds and staff flee intolerable working conditions.

In a scathing submission to the health inquiry, eight emergency department directors and specialists from major hospitals claim the chronic problems are being deliberately concealed from the public.

The 11-page Australasian College for Emergency Medicine submission accuses Queensland Health and politicians of having "lied to the public with either fabricated figures on the number of beds" or for making claims that there was no intensive care crisis.

The college tells the health inquiry this is "complete rubbish" and emergency departments have become dumping grounds for the failures of the health system.

A lack of beds and a failure to attract staff to emergency departments fuelled the crisis in emergency departments, the college writes.

And patients were not being treated with dignity and respect.

Instead, they were being squeezed into emergency department corridors, examined in public and some were being forced to wait a day, sometimes more, on a trolley for an available inpatient bed.

"It is an environment of chaos, pressure and the ever-occurring requirement to cut corners using only your experience in a resource-poor environment," the college submission said.

I still don’t understand why it’s acceptable to put any patient in a hallway, when there are literally hundreds of offices in the hospital that could be put to that use.  Perhaps if the administration had to work in the hallway ED expansion and efficiency would be a higher priority.


  1. Heh. Good idea about the offices. I’d like to be a fly on the wall when that happens. Could be mighty entertaining.

  2. Those offices are empty for 12-16 hours every day. Seems to me that’s when the ER is most likely to be overflowing, too. I think you could get someone’s attention if you just wired them for monitors and put in the oxygen and suction outlets. You might not have to actually put patients in those carpeted spaces.

    OTOH, if you did, I’m sure that the chairs in those offices would be much more comfy than the wheelchair I got parked in at the ER nurse’s station last time I was there.


  1. Australia’s Beleaguered Emergency Departments Suffer