Hospital request causing long delays

Max Hatzoglou

Western Health has described the demand for services at Sunshine Hospital as “extreme” since flu and COVID cases spiked this winter.

The increase in demand has caused significant delays for those seeking medical care.

A local Rikki Johnston posted online saying she waited hours to be seen with a broken kneecap.

“I went to Sunshine with a broken kneecap by ambulance and still waited over seven hours to be seen,” she said on the Brimbank Community Facebook page.

Daniella Mamic posted saying, “Went to Sunshine ER three weeks ago and waited five hours.”

Sal Coles said “don’t go to Sunshine Hospital what a joke!!” while Sharon Hammer said “Sunshine is a long wait”

Chantelle Imke said Footscray Hospital had wait times as long as Sunshine Hospital.

“Everywhere is [long wait times] right now,” she said.

She explained how her partner waited five hours for their two-year-old son and how her brother-in-law went to Sunshine Hospital and waited “over six hours” so he went to Footscray and it was “the same thing”.

Western Health’s acting executive director of operations John Ferraro said demand is extremely high.

“Western Health is experiencing extremely high demand for services, including in our emergency department, in part due to the increased prevalence of COVID-19 and influenza in our community,” Ferraro said.

“We continue to work in conjunction with the Department of Health, Ambulance Victoria and other Metropolitan Health Services to ensure that we continue to provide rapid access to our services for the community.

“We would like to remind our community that one of the ways to reduce the demand on emergency services is to attend only when absolutely necessary.

“If you have severe symptoms and need urgent medical assistance, please call an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency department.

“We also encourage the community to get their flu shot annually and ensure they are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations.”

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