13% of the Royal Children’s Hospital’s beds not in use – Doug Travis bed audit

Wednesday 1 April 2015
AMA Victoria has long called for a comprehensive breakdown of public hospital beds, and this was a key feature of our election manifesto last year. We welcome the release of today’s bed audit report.
“If hospital efficiency is to improve, we need to know how many public hospital beds are available, their location, type of bed and their occupancy rate – and then direct funds and resources appropriately,” AMA Victoria spokesperson, Dr Michael Levick said this morning.
“As we approach Easter, many Victorians will be supporting the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. The RCH is a unique, specialised and brilliant hospital. It is ground-breaking in everything it does.
“For the anguished parents whose children are patients at the RCH or are on the waiting list for surgery there – they would be devastated to know that the RCH has 362 beds, of which only 315 are available.
“It is unacceptable that almost 13% of the RCH’s beds are not in use,” Dr Levick said.
AMA Victoria expects that this information will lead to improvements.
Of the report’s recommendations, AMA Victoria are in particular support of point three:
Collection and reporting of waiting times for first consultations in outpatient clinics, detailed to the level of health service and type of service, should commence within six months.
Currently, elective surgery waiting lists do not reflect the actual time patients wait for surgery, as they do include those waiting for an initial outpatient appointment. Many patients can wait years for this. So while the Health Department reports that there are 41,627 Victorians waiting for surgery – this figure is far greater in reality. We hope that the Victorian Government implements this recommendation.
We are pleased that the Labor Government has fulfilled the first step in this pre-election commitment with this bed audit.
Media contact - Felicity Ryan 0437 450 506 
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