Canberra Hospital grapples with 'overcapacity'

By The Canberra Times
Updated April 23 2018 - 10:49am, first published September 18 2014 - 10:18am

Like a heart-attack victim who can no longer pretend his or her discomfort is caused by indigestion, Canberra Hospital administrators have this week had to contemplate the reality that patient pressure can be disregarded no longer, and that urgent corrective action is required. In response to figures indicating the facility has averaged 95 per cent capacity so far this year – which emergency department clinical director Michael Hall has characterised as "unsafe" – administrators have presented the ACT government with a new "overcapacity protocol". Under the proposed plan, patients close to being discharged from busy wards will be placed in areas not normally used to house beds to allow additional patients from the hospital's emergency department to be accommodated. By such means, up to 10 beds could be freed during those times when the hospital was operating close to capacity.

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