ER screen slammed
The South Australian government is building a screen at the Royal Adelaide's emergency department that some claim is designed to hide ambulance ramping from public view and scrutiny.
The 2-metre-high screen masks the Royal Adelaide Hospital's emergency department and patients being kept in the back of ambulances outside the often overcrowded hospital.
The temporary structure is now making way for a permanent fence.
Advocates for doctors and paramedics say the government is trying to cover up the problem.
“It is a disgrace that it's got to this point, it says to us that the administrators have given up,” South Australian Salaried Medical Officer's Bernadette Mulholland told reporters.
“We're still in the era of secrecy, which is unfortunate, where they can't fix a problem, they put a wall around it so the community, the patients, yourselves, can't see what's going on.”
“It's a sad thing that a wall has to be built to hide a problem rather than the same money being spent on solving the problem,” Ambulance Employees Association's Phil Palmer said.
The new fence comes during another week of ramping and overcrowding across Adelaide's metropolitan hospitals.
“I mean, this government came to office saying they were going to fix ramping. But ramping has doubled under their watch. And instead of solutions, they're cutting beds,” Opposition health spokesman Chris Picton said.
The minister maintains the fence is for patient privacy, and says he is very much committed to ending ramping.