Dangerous directive to GPs due to poor planning

Canberra doctors are being urged not to send patients to the Canberra Hospital emergency department due to “very high levels of service demand and patient acuity”.
An “important message” to GPs is asking them to consider treatment pathways and referral options other than the emergency department.
They are also asked to seek advice from an ED admitting officer before making a decision to refer patients.
“This directive to GPs is dangerous,” Mrs Dunne said.
“There will be a rush on the nurse-led walk-in centres, which are likely to refer patients either back to their doctors or on to the emergency department.
“These roundabout delays to treatment could put patient lives at risk.
“Our hospitals are under maximum pressure and Minister Fitzharris has not responded to the warning signs.
“Last year, the Canberra Hospital emergency department was in crisis mode for three months in a row after an alert level three was triggered.
“But the Minister waved the crisis off saying a bad flu season was to blame.
“We are not even in the throes of the flu season and already our hospital is struggling to cope with demand.
“History looks set to repeat itself.
“Our hard working and dedicated nurses, doctors and hospital staff continue to be under-supported by Minister Fitzharris’ poor planning,” Mrs Dunne concluded.