Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

4 March 2015

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

86 per cent drop in ambulance ramping at the RHH

The Liberal Government is committed to putting patients back at the forefront of decision-making in health – where they belong.

Ambulance ramping at the Royal Hobart Hospital had become an increasing problem after the shambolic state in which the Labor-Green Government left the hospital, and indeed the entire health system.

In September last year I directed THO-South to reopen the four-bed Ambulance Offload Unit in the Emergency Department at the RHH as part of our commitment to significantly reduce ambulance ramping.

I am very pleased to report that this has resulted in an 86 per cent drop in total ramping at the Royal Hobart Hospital compared to September 2014.

This means that this Government has overseen the greatest sustained reduction in ramping since statistics began being gathered.

The direction to open the four additional beds, establishing the first handover area in the RHH, is allowing our paramedics to get back to the road and our community as quickly as possible.

This stands in stark contrast to the former Labor-Green Government, which closed the former Nell Williams Unit, putting increased pressure on the ED and preventing paramedics from getting back on the road to attend other patients in need.

It's important to note that while this takes place, Health Services Innovation Tasmania continues to undertake its important work to improve patient flow at the state's major hospitals.

While we must continue to work on this issue and acknowledge that nobody expects ramping can be completely eliminated, this is an example of how listening to the expert advice of our clinical workforce has helped to deliver greatly improved outcomes for the community.

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