Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — We see it on the evening news bulletins, regularly read about it in our newspapers and hear it on our radios when talkback callers share their horror stories. Victoria’s hospital emergency departments are in crisis under the Napthine coalition government. Less than two weeks ago the Australian institute of health and wellbeing released a report showing what Victorians already knew: the Napthine government has comprehensively failed in providing adequate emergency health services for Victorians. Under the Napthine government Victoria is falling behind other states in relation to emergency department waiting times and elective surgery waiting times.
Hon. D. M. Davis — On a point of order, Acting President, the member meant the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, not the institute of health and wellbeing. That is not what she said.
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Pennicuik) — Order! I thank Mr Davis. I do not believe that really was a point of order. The member is to continue. I apologise for the interruption.
Ms TIERNEY — It has gotten to the point that 1 in every 15 people who present to emergency departments leaves before they even get seen, because it takes so long. The report also states that 27 per cent of people are not being seen in clinically acceptable times. However, the government is not interested in the facts; it is interested in misleading Victorians by stating that more people are getting surgery now, when all of the evidence available suggests that the Napthine government’s claim is completely wrong.
Two weeks ago a letter to the editor appeared in the local Geelong media from a woman whose husband had arrived at the Geelong Hospital emergency department at 8.30 p.m. with heart problems. According to the letter, the man waited on a trolley for 18 hours until a bed was found for him at 3.30 p.m. the next day. Victorians, particularly those who need urgent medical attention, deserve better. The Napthine coalition government relies on spinning health outcomes, when it has allowed the health system and particularly hospital emergency departments to spin out of control.