By Rebecca Peppiatt
HIGH demand on the emergency department at St John of God Hospital in Midland has seen patients asked to wait outside before they can be sent through for treatment, with others experiencing wait times up to eight hours long.
A Midland woman, who did not want to be named, contacted Echo News after taking her elderly mother to the hospital on the night of September 22.
“She was in a lot of pain but it was so busy in there, they put out a message that the wait time would be eight hours long and asked some people to wait outside because there was not enough room with the COVID seating restrictions,” she said.
A 21-year-old Stratton woman said she had the same experience at the hospital in August.
“For anyone that wasn’t in a life or death situation, the wait times were between six and eight hours,” she said.
“I was there as it was thought I had a burst ovarian cyst and I ended up going home because I was told I wouldn’t be seen for about seven hours.
“Myself and everyone else in the waiting room was told we had the option to wait out the hours or go home at our own risk.”
A spokeswoman for the hospital said they were experiencing “unprecedented demand on its emergency services at present, which is putting strain on its capacity and resources.”
“Patients are seen as soon as possible, according to the severity of their illness or injury, and not in order of attendance,” she said.
“To ensure the safe physical distancing of unwell patients during busy periods, visitors are asked to wait in the designated waiting area outside the ED.
“This area is monitored by staff.”