Home' The Great Southern Star : August 9th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - PAGE 5
By Stuart Biggins
GIPPSLAND Southern Health Ser-
vice has defended decisions to bypass
ambulances and direct emergency pa-
tients to other hospitals.
Leongatha resident Ben Gerard claimed
paramedics in the area had been directed by
Ambulance Victoria management to call ahead
for approval from Leongatha Hospital before
embarking for the hospital.
Mr Gerard claims the hospital’s urgent care
department has been increasingly refusing pa-
tients because it is underfunded and does not
have the nursing resources to staff the depart-
ment, and relies on Leongatha general prac-
titioners to provide an on-call service to the
“It is an absolute waste of taxpayer mon-
ey that a fantastic facility has not been re-
sourced adequately so the surrounding com-
munities can utilise it for urgent care, and
accident and emergency service, as they expect
and think exists,” he said.
GSHS CEO Mark Johnson addressed mis-
conceptions about the Urgent Care Emergency
Department at the Leongatha Hospital, saying
occasionally staff at the hospital can be affect-
ed by absenteeism.
If a replacement cannot be found to cover
a nurse who calls in sick, available staff are
re-deployed depending on the hospital’s de-
If the hospital is under pressure due to a
staffing shortage, the Urgent Care Centre may
be unable to deal with an emergency because
staff cannot be moved around at short notice.
Mr Johnson also said hospitals cost too
much to run to have medical personnel stand-
ing around the Urgent Care Centre waiting for
patients who might not arrive.
Mr Johnson said the community needs to be
mindful of the differences between an Urgent
Care Centre and an Emergency Department.
The Leongatha Hospital Urgent Care Centre
is staffed by on-call general practitioners who
also provide private consultations in their own
practice and will come to the hospital to pro-
vide urgent care if needed.
An Emergency Department is staffed with
dedicated medical officers and there must be a
consistently high volume of patient presenta-
tions to justify the cost.
Peter Collins at Ambulance Victoria, who is
responsible for managing ambulance services
in South Gippsland, confirmed an email devel-
oped with Gippsland Southern Health Service
input had been issued.
When questioned regarding the motives for
the directive, Mr Collins said, “Paramedics gen-
uinely care about their patients and decisions,
including which hospital to transport them to,
are made in the patients’ best interests.
“The email went out as a reminder with no
intent other than to do the right thing by ambu-
lance crews and their patients.
“There is no point putting a patient through
a transfer that didn’t need to happen, likewise
When asked if the directive was a response
to ongoing complaints from Leongatha Hospi-
tal about AV bringing in patients it cannot man-
age, Mr Collins said it was important to take
the right patient to the right hospital for appro-
“Paramedics transport patients to the most
appropriate hospital that is able to provide the
level of care required,” he said.
“It is not realistic to expect a hospital de-
signed for a specific role to do something that
is outside its capabilities such as higher level
Mr Gerard said Leongatha Hospital was a
public hospital that needed to be provide emer-
“It has always been understood Leongatha
is not a suitable destination for some patient
conditions such as orthopaedic surgery, strokes
and trauma but it has now got to the stage
where most things other than respite/palliative,
are sent elsewhere,” he said.
Hospital defends ambulance bypass
Choir in form: St Laurence’s Primary School in Leongatha won the Bird Family Trust
Junior Choir Award at the Yarram Eisteddfod last Thursday. The choir, made up of stu-
dents from Prep to Grade 3, scored 88 points for its performance. Bella, Niya and Louisa
accepted the trophy on behalf of their school.
PLANTS valued at more than
$2500 were stolen from Inverloch
Nursery on Saturday morning.
Police said an unknown male
offender broke into the yard be-
tween 5.15am and 5.45am.
Police believe more than one
person may have been involved
and the offenders would have
used a vehicle due to the large
number of plants stolen.
Anyone with information can
contact Crimestoppers on 1800
333 000 or Wonthaggi Police on
TWO holiday homes in Cape
Paterson were broken into re-
cently. The burglary of the first,
in Anchor Parade, occurred in
the last two weeks, and unknown
offenders stole electrical and
The second, in Nardoo Street,
occurred in the last four months.
Unknown offenders entered a
shed and stole a lawn mower,
whipper snipper and tools.
A TYABB man lost his li-
cence for 11 months and received
a $661 fine for drink driving.
The 37 year old was inter-
cepted by Foster Police while
driving on the Dollar-Woorarra
West Road at 6.30pm Sunday.
He returned a positive breath-
test and was taken to Foster Po-
lice Station for a further test. He
blew a blood alcohol reading of
Links Archive August 2nd 2016 August 16th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page