Ramping-gate – part 1 | AMA (WA)


AMA (WA) | Royal Perth Emergency Department

Ramping-gate – part 1

Wednesday March 10, 2021

4,111 hours – the unforgettable scandal blocking access to emergency care

The past year will forever be remembered for its lockdowns, travel restrictions and the global suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But closer to home, in WA’s comparatively COVID-free bubble, ambulance ramping and delays in access to emergency care is the immediate crisis – unrelated to COVID-19 – that has WA’s emergency department healthcare workers on their knees. This year looks to be no different, with yet another WA ramping record smashed. For the first time, more than 4,000 hours of ramping have been recorded in a calendar month.

The figures are confronting, and paint a picture of chaos that has engulfed WA’s emergency departments – despite the small number of COVID-19 cases in WA – leaving patients suffering and WA’s ED doctors, nurses and paramedics working in an increasingly stressful and morally traumatic environment.

The ramping increases seen in WA are dangerous, entirely unsustainable and completely avoidable.

COVID-19 and mental health patients are not to blame for this crisis – politicians and health system managers are. What ED patients and healthcare workers need is for those responsible to exercise political resolve and address the fast-escalating catastrophe, something that has so far been absent.