Page 3640 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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(4) Are staff at the Emergency Department of TCH required to routinely check up on patients waiting for beds and treatment; if not, why not.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) There are many types of blood disorders, not all of which are serious and without specific details, it is not possible to comment on the usual procedures for assessing patients with blood disorders. However, in general, patients with blood disorders will require initial assessment by the Emergency Department staff, blood tests and possibly other investigations, assessment by the haematology registrar and/or specialist and possible admission.

(2) A wait of 30 hours is very unusual but during this time a patient would be undergoing the same clinical assessment by specialist staff, investigations and treatment as would occur if the patient were admitted to a ward. Deciding whether a patient requires admission can sometimes take several hours and may depend on the results of investigations, further delaying admission.

(3) and (4) While patients are in the Emergency Department nursing staff provide a high level of ongoing nursing care including changing the patient’s clothes and the bed linen if necessary. Delays may occur if the patient is unaware of a problem and has been unable to communicate this to the nursing staff. If specific details of the patient are provided this could be investigated further.

It is not possible to comment accurately on hypothetical medical cases without more information.

Hospitals—waiting times
(Question No 485)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 18 August 2005:

(1) If a person presented to the Emergency Department at The Canberra Hospital or Calvary Hospital with a broken arm that needed pinning and plastering, what would be the normal process that would be followed in assisting this patient;

(2) Would it be acceptable for this patient to be sent away and told to come back four days later (for example, presents on Monday and told to come back Friday) for the injury to be treated;

(3) Would it then be acceptable for this patient, when they return in four days still with a broken arm that has not been pinned or plastered, to sit in the waiting room from 9 am to 6 pm and be told at 6 pm that they could not be treated that day and then be told to come back three days later (for example, sat in the waiting room on Friday told to come back on Monday);

(4) Is it acceptable for a person to wait a total of seven days, with a broken arm that requires pinning and plastering, before they receive treatment; if not, why not and why has this been allowed to happen recently;

(5) Would such a patient have had to wait so long purely because a Bateman’s Bay Hospital could not treat him and he was told to go to Canberra; if so, why are we making

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