When an emergency department is at capacity, patients are unable to be transferred from the ambulance to the emergency department in timely manner, commonly referred to as ambulance ramping. In the last two years there has been increased reports of ambulance ramping outside hospitals, people needing to be driven to the ED as there are no available ambulances, and people dying waiting for an ambulance.
The AMA’s Ambulance Ramping Report Card shows that states and territories are falling short of their performance targets, and longitudinal data demonstrates that the time it takes to transfer a patient from the ambulance to the care of the hospital emergency department has been overall increasing year on year. This is a clear indication that our hospitals are in crisis.
Paramedics and ambulance staff are under pressure and deserve better than spending hours ramped outside hospitals, as do their patients. The AMA’s Clear the Hospital Logjam Campaign calls for a new 50-50 funding agreement share between the Commonwealth and states and territories, and the removal of the 6.5 per cent cap on funding growth, to expand capacity and put an end to ambulance ramping.