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Report suggests hospitals under pressure, patients at risk

According to a recent report from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), Australian public hospitals are under severe pressure and this is potentially increasing public medical risks.

The report ‘National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services: Performance report for 2013’ revealed that no state or territory in the country met elective surgery or emergency department (ED) performance targets last year. This highlights the limited capacity of hospitals and the requirement of further funding.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) President, Brian Owler, explained that as the country’s population continues to age, this problem is only going to get worse and people’s lives could be at risk in some situations.

“Australia’s public hospitals continue to provide a vital service due to the hard work and commitment of the doctors and nurses who work around the clock to provide quality care, but more funding and resources are needed,” he said.

“Doctors working in public hospitals today know there has been little change in the capacity of public hospitals to meet the demand for elective surgery and emergency care.”

Mr Owler stated that patients are waiting too long for basic elective surgeries and other simple procedures in ED.

“No state met their National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) for treating, admitting, or discharging patients from emergency departments within four hours,” he said.

“There there have been some improvements in large public hospitals, but even these improvements need additional resources to build the ongoing capacity required to continue to meet targets.”

This report coincides with a NSW parliamentary review that recently revealed half of all medical complaints to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) are not followed up.

Medical negligence compensation

Patients that develop further complications due to their non-treatment or delayed consultation could be eligible for medical negligence compensation and are urged to contact a lawyer who can help them with their claim.

As medical negligence compensation is a complex situation, it is best to take your claim directly to a lawyer. It is also important to record anything that could help your claim. If your negligence lawyer can have access to all relevant information, then you are more likely to be successful in your case.

These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis, so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it’s completely up to you whether you engage their services.

© 2014 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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