ED wait times soaring

Emergency Department wait times are soaring across Taranaki and the Waikato region, with more than one in four people waiting at least six hours for treatment, National’s MP for Taranaki-King Country Barbara Kuriger says

“Data obtained by the Parliamentary Library shows that since Labour came into Government, there has been a marked decline in the proportion of people who go to the Emergency Department being seen within six hours.

“In the three months to the end of March, the proportion of people admitted, discharged or transferred from Waikato's Emergency Department within six hours of arriving fell to 70.2 per cent – down from 88.8 per cent, and in Taranaki fell to 78.5 per cent from 92.2 per cent, in the three months to September 2017.

“Wait times are up in every region across the country, but the data shows that the Waikato region is among the worst performing in the country, compared to the reporting from 2017.

“If more than one in four people going to the Emergency Department have to wait at least six hours for treatment, that is a sure sign that the system is not coping.

“When ED waiting times are unbearable, people simply leave – sometimes with tragic consequences.

“The full extent of the tragic ED wait time figures are only now laid bare on the Ministry of Health website after National pressured Andrew Little to reveal figures that were no longer being published.

“Exhausted, hard-working ED staff see no support, hope, or plans in Andrew Little’s public statements. The Minister of Health urgently needs to refocus the $486 million being spent on health reforms towards relieving pressure in EDs.”