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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tasmania rolls out hospital ED waiting list dashboard

Tasmania’s Department of Health is launching a new online tool to provide members of the public with up-to-date information on emergency department (ED) waiting times at hospitals across the State.

The ED waiting times dashboard, available at www.health.tas.gov.au and viewable on desktop and mobile devices, will go live this week and aims to give an indication of current ED waiting times for non-urgent patients.

Minister for Health, Guy Barnett said the new webpage will help Tasmanians decide whether they, or their loved ones, need to go to an ED for a less serious illness or injury. 

“We’re doing what matters for Tasmanians by providing a dashboard which shows current waiting times and exactly how busy the ED is, along with information about other treatment options that may be closer to home,’’ Minister Barnett said.

“That’s why it is also important the community is aware of the different treatment options available in Tasmania when deciding what the most suitable option is, depending on the nature and urgency of their health concern.”

Information on other treatment options is also available at www.health.tas.gov.au, or by calling Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to speak to a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I want to stress that the new dashboard is not relevant for those people who are critically unwell,’’ Minister Barnett said.

“Anyone who requires emergency medical care for a serious injury or illness should always call triple zero (000) or go to their nearest ED immediately – our dedicated and skilled hospital staff will always be there for you. Those individuals needing critical, life-saving care will always be seen first.”

Minister Barnett said that sharing a picture of current demand in the State’s EDs, along with information to help people choose the right treatment option, will help the community to make more informed decisions.

“For illnesses or injuries that are not serious or life-threatening, there are many options. If you’re not sure what to do, call Healthdirect for advice on whether you should manage your condition at home, book a GP appointment or need another care option,’’ Mr Barnett said.

“The number of people presenting at Tasmanian EDs continues to rise and can vary significantly from one day to the next, for a range of reasons.

“ED teams across Tasmania treat more than 480 people every day, and there is often a surge in demand on weekends and during holiday periods, so it’s important that we keep EDs for emergencies and help people to find the right care for their illness or injury,” he said.

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