Joondalup Health Campus emergency department deals with dozens of meth-affected patients every week:
EMERGENCY department staff at Joondalup Health Campus are dealing with dozens of meth-affected patients every week, according to the latest statistics from the WA Health Department.
Joondalup Health Campus recorded the thirdhighest number of meth-affected patients, with 393 cases for the first half of 2018.
This was down on the previous reporting period of July 2017 to December 2017, when the hospital recorded 523 meth-affected presentations, the second highest of the seven hospitals tracking emergency patients believed to be under the influence of methamphetamine.
The new surveillance system introduced in July 2017 showed hospitals emergency departments were dealing with more than 500 meth-related attendances a month, with Royal Perth Hospital copping the brunt of the issue.
Figures for the first half of this year recorded 3223 meth-related ED attendances (17.8 per day), down slightly on the previous sixmonth period which recorded 3369 attendances (18.3 per day).
Over one-third of all meth-related attendances were aged 26-35 and there were 73 cases involving children aged 17 or younger.
Aboriginal patients accounted for nearly 21 per cent of meth-related ED attendances.
WA Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said meth addicts were disrupting the hospital system.
“We are proposing a tough love approach with mandatory rehabilitation of meth addicts, which is a system that is working in NSW and Victoria,” he said.
“First we need to build rehab facilities, take these addicts out of prisons and as part of their sentence they must go into rehab, often for significant periods of time. This keeps addicts off the streets, out of our hospitals and saves their lives.”