Mercy emergency

Werribee Mercy Hospital is about 5 km from where we live and with a public hospital less than a 10-min. drive from home should give us some measure of peace of mind. If ever anything happened to us, a least there’s easy access to the hospital nearby. Or at least that’s the idea. In the past month, six doctors have resigned from Mercy because of rostering difficulties. The health administrators have said then that the resignation would not affect the quality of service they provide the public and that the remaining doctors could handle the present work load.

Then reports came in last week that the hospital’s emergency department was forced to close for five hours when the two doctors who were supposed to be on duty called in sick. Patients have to be redirected to the next nearest hospital, Western Hospital in Footscray, which is about 30 kilometres from where we live. It was lucky nothing much was happening during the closure or the consequences would have been dire indeed.

A quick look at Victoria’s Public Hospital System website shows that there are only four hospitals in Melbourne’s west – Sunshine, Western, Williamstown and Werribee. With the western district’s growing population, news of doctor shortages such as these are worrying. More people and less doctors spell trouble and the powers that be seem none too concerned. I just hope that it doesn’t take a horrible emergency for them to finally notice and take action.

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Published in: on June 24, 2006 at 9:59 pm  Comments (4)