Staff lev­els ap­pro­pri­ate, says di­rec­tor

Albany Extra - - News - Saskia Adysti

WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice has de­fended Katan­ning Hos­pi­tal’s ca­pac­ity to ser­vice the com­mu­nity and has given as­sur­ance that the district hos­pi­tal is ap­pro­pri­ately staffed.

Re­gional di­rec­tor David Naughton said there were more than 150 staff em­ployed at Katan­ning district hos­pi­tal, in­clud­ing 35 doc­tors con­tracted to pro­vide a range of ser­vices at the hos­pi­tal.

“Our emer­gency depart­ment is fur­ther sup­ported by Emer­gency Tele­health Ser­vices — con­nect­ing our on-the-ground staff to spe­cial­ists at metro sites when re­quired,” he said.

“Those who re­quire care through our ED will al­ways re­ceive it.”

How­ever, one Katan­ning res­i­dent said her el­derly mother who had been di­ag­nosed with a chronic disease failed to re­ceive im­me­di­ate treat­ment at the hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment in Septem­ber.

The res­i­dent, who would like to re­main anony­mous, said she took her mother to the Katan­ning Hos­pi­tal ED around 5pm but was told to come back at 8pm be­cause there were no doc­tors avail­able to treat her.

“The staff there are re­ally help­ful, but be­cause they weren’t a doc­tor, they couldn’t di­ag­nose and pro­vide any treat­ment for her,” she said.

“Had she been se­ri­ously ill at the time, the out­come could have been dif­fer­ent be­cause of the chronic disease that she does have.”

When asked how many doc­tors in Katan­ning Hos­pi­tal were ros­tered on each shift, WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice did not pro­vide this par­tic­u­lar de­tail.

Mr Naughton said there were ap­prox­i­mately 22 nurses work­ing across var­i­ous ar­eas of the hos­pi­tal on a 24/7 ba­sis. “This is sup­ported by our GP on-call ar­range­ments for all wards and the emer­gency depart­ment year round,” he said.

The res­i­dent who asked not to be named said she would like to see the State Gov­ern­ment ap­pro­pri­ately staff Katan­ning Hos­pi­tal, which looked af­ter the med­i­cal needs of more than 5000 pop­u­la­tion in the Great South­ern re­gion.

“Liv­ing out in the re­gion and not hav­ing ac­cess to an emer­gency depart­ment that is prop­erly staffed could lead to life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion for some,” she said.

Katan­ning Hos­pi­tal’s re­gional di­rec­tor says 35 doc­tors are con­tracted to pro­vide a range of ser­vices.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.