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The government of New South Wales released some data yesterday showing that the paramedics in the region spend thousands of hours simply waiting to offload patients from the ambulance at emergency departments of hospitals.
In fact, between July 2005 and June 2010, more than 245,000 hours were wasted when patients were waiting around for a bed. According to Health Minister Jillian Skinner, she decided to release these figures to show how the last Labor government wasted millions of dollars to paramedics to provide nothing more than a glorified babysitting service for patients needing treatment.
“Labor did not come clean about this data, I’ve only discovered since I’ve become the Minister”, said Ms. Skinner. “$21 million over six years because paramedics were hanging around crowded emergency departments, they couldn’t offload their patients”. According to her, paramedics have been complaining about this situation for years.
After releasing the figures, Ms. Skinner promised that her government would be one to provide even more hospital beds along with more nurses to provide more room and more care for the patients that need it. She said that she and her colleagues were working for an 85% occupancy rate of hospital beds which would give hospital staff more flexibility and increase patient safety.