WA’s hospital ambulance ramping crisis has broken another record — with last month’s idle hours the highest number of any September.
Ramping hours hit 5835 last month, which was down on 6775 hours in August.
Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said the State Government was heading for a record year of ambulance ramping while boasting about a multi-billion dollar surplus.
WA’s worst ever month for ambulance ramping was 6976 hours in July.
Ms Mettam said the State Government couldn’t blame the previous Liberal-National Government, given these ramping figures were “four to five times” what WA Labor had called a “horror story” when they were last in Opposition.
“Again we are seeing the McGowan Government record the highest level of ambulance ramping for the month of September in the State’s history,” the deputy Liberal leader said.
“The McGowan Government can no longer blame winter or COVID.
“It is completely inexcusable that we are also heading for the worst year on record at a time when we are recording a record budget surplus.
“Based on the year-to-date average ramping figures WA will exceed the ramping record set in 2021 by the end of next month with two months of the year remaining.
“The McGowan Government have also failed to meet the priority 1, 2 or 3 target in either 2021 or 2022 reflecting a hospital system in crisis, putting WA patients’ lives at risk.”
Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson issued a statement to say ambulance ramping hours decreased by more than 1000 between August and September this year and health spending had increased by 30 per cent.
“The Opposition Coalition Alliance continues to look for ways to diminish our health system and our hardworking healthcare workers, while offering no solutions to this complex problem,” the Labor minister said.
“The true fact of the matter is that the data shows ramping hours during September 2022 significantly reduced from the previous month — dropping by more than 1,000 hours.
“The McGowan Government has increased spending on Health by more than 30 per cent since coming into power, and has invested $252 million in a package of 17 initiatives to improve emergency access.
“We always said it would take time to reduce ramping while challenged by winter demand, staff furloughing, sick leave, and COVID-19 infection control protocols, which have only recently begun easing at hospitals. However, it is encouraging to see a reduction in ramping hours over the past month.”