Health Minister laughs at long hospital waits

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith should explain why she thinks it’s funny that Canberrans requiring urgent medical attention should go to Calvary’s Emergency Department because the Canberra Hospital is too full.

This week in the ACT Legislative Assembly, Ms Stephen-Smith laughed after encouraging Canberra patients needing emergency care to go Calvary instead of the Canberra Hospital due to long waits.

Minister Stephen-Smith said:

We can also see the wait times for our emergency departments which are today at the Canberra Hospital is looking pretty bad but Calvary’s looking good so if you need to go to emergency today, if you can, please go to Calvary ah haha.

“This is unmistakably inappropriate humour,” Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said.

“People who access emergency are in pain and distress, it’s no laughing matter.

“Within hours of the Minister’s inappropriate jokes, I spent more than three hours at the Canberra Hospital emergency department. The staff were clearly under the pump. The people in the waiting room did not consider the situation a laughing matter.

“It was a very sad situation. Our hospital needs urgent help, not grossly inappropriate humour from the supposedly responsible minister,” Mrs Dunne said.