An image of a sick woman lying on a cold hospital floor has highlighted the desperate plight of one state's health system.
The patient’s family shared the photo on Facebook and said their mother was forced to sleep on the emergency department floor of Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide, while she waited for more than five hours with stomach pain on Saturday night.
Horrified observers shared their outrage on social media.
“This is an absolute disgrace,” one person wrote. “This shouldn’t be happening in a country like Australia.”
While another woman retold her own horrific experience inside the Flinders Medical Centre emergency department.
“Honestly I have never seen anything quite like it,” she wrote on Facebook.
“It was like something out of a movie. People wall-to-wall.
“I asked the nurse, is this normal? And she said, yes, this is how it is now all day, everyday.”
The post has since sparked the South Australian government to launch an investigation.
Premier Peter Malinauskas told ABC Radio Adelaide the fact someone felt the best place for them was to lie down on the floor was “not satisfactory.”
“It’s important that, while we acknowledge failures in the system, we don’t confuse that with the extraordinary effort that is being undertaken on a daily, hourly basis from nurses, doctors, orderlies, cleaners in the hospital system, who have been working back-to-back-to-back."
“So we acknowledge their efforts, but we also acknowledge that happened wasn’t acceptable and that’s why there’s an investigation into that particular case.”
Report reveals night of horror in ED
A new report by emergency doctors at Flinders Medical Centre has further exposed the dire situation at the hospital, Nine News reports.
In the document given to SafeWork SA, medical professionals said patients were left to wait anywhere up to 20 hours for a bed on June 15, in what one doctor told Nine was “the worst they’ve ever seen it.”
“I seriously think that someone could die today,” they said.
The report also detailed that at one point a patient had waited 40 hours for bed, while another had waited for 48 hours.
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