Inside a clinic: ‘You can’t afford to miss a diagnosis’
Internal medicine and general medicine wards in Melbourne’s inner city are struggling to cope with the growing numbers of patients coming through their doors.
In some areas, there are just two beds left, with a further 20 to 30 waiting to be admitted.
But a patient arriving by ambulance is now a routine occurrence, and a growing number of those who need urgent treatment are getting a call at home from a GP.
As a result, the city’s doctors and other health workers are increasingly relying on volunteers to take on the workload, even if that means putting patients at risk of infection.
A senior hospital nurse, who did not want to be named, said the problem was the result of a lack of trust in the system.
She said she had never seen such an acute need for volunteers, and it was common to see people come through their emergency departments only to be told they were not ready to receive their next patient.
It’s a responsibility that’s on the shoulders of the volunteers, because you’re not in a position to make the call yourself,” she said. “
You’ve got a big responsibility.
It’s a responsibility that’s on the shoulders of the volunteers, because you’re not in a position to make the call yourself,” she said.
“People are desperate.
If we’re going to do this, we’ve got volunteers to help.”
The nurse said she was worried about the safety of the people volunteering to work on wards, especially when the workload increased so rapidly.
“It’s just not acceptable,” she told the ABC.
“I’m worried about people’s safety.
What can you do? “
We’ve got some people who can’t come through at all, and they’re not going to have the resources to get to the next emergency.”
What can you do?
There are plenty of options available to help patients get through the crisis, including the Samaritans, who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Samaritans is a group of volunteer doctors, nurses, nurses’ assistants and others working to help people get through an acute illness.
They are also able to offer support in their local community.
In an email to the ABC, the group’s director said the Samaritan’s support network was “in the middle of a very serious crisis”.
“It is a crisis we are currently facing, and we have no idea what is happening to the other services we have,” the email said.
But Dr Paul Fidler, from the University of New South Wales, said there was a growing awareness of the need for patients to get access to urgent care.
“In the last 12 months or so, a lot more doctors have started volunteering their time to help other people,” he said.
The lack of volunteers was a big problem in the Victorian state of Victoria, with the state Health Department reporting it was the third most popular health issue it had seen in a year.
The Victorian government has announced it will require all hospitals to recruit new staff by August 2019, and has also announced the creation of a new “medical emergency support team”.
Dr Fidling said the health system was in a precarious position.
“At the moment, we are in a situation where we have a situation that’s really difficult for the system to cope,” he told the Melbourne radio station 790 ABC.
The problem is not limited to the inner city.
“The problem is also in other parts of the country,” he added.
The Melbourne Health Minister, Dr Terry Mulder, said he hoped the new requirement would lead to more people volunteering for urgent care, with more resources allocated to those who needed it most.
“Every year, we receive about two or three calls to the emergency department for someone with a medical emergency,” Dr Mulder said.