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How Many Tasmanians are Dying While Ramped?

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Tags: Health, Ambulance Ramping, Ambulances

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Ambulance ramping continues to worsen, but it’s clear the Liberals are still not it seriously enough, with the Premier today unable to tell Parliament how many Tasmanians are dying while ramped. 
Paramedics do absolutely everything in their power to provide the best possible care for patients while they are ramped, but they aren’t miracle workers. When thousands of Tasmanians are spending hours on the ramp, harm and tragedy are unavoidable. 
The tragic case of a woman who died at the Launceston General Hospital after she had been ramped for 9 hours is a stark reminder of the harm that can be caused by ambulance ramping. But if you talk to any paramedic they’ll tell you this wasn’t an isolated case. 
Data from Victoria released last month showed more than 70 preventable deaths attributed to ramping in a single year. It’s unclear from the Premier’s answer today whether Tasmania collects this type of information – or any data whatsoever about the welfare of ramped patients. 
If the government does have more information about the terrible circumstances that are too often occurring on hospital ramps, why wasn’t the Premier forthcoming with it in Parliament?

If they don’t, why not? After all, understanding the severity of this issue is surely an essential requirement for taking meaningful action. 
It’s time for the Premier to stop pretending that tinkering at the edges of the issue is going to fix ambulance ramping, and to have the courage to tackle the issue head on. The process needs to start with a information about the impact ramping is having not just on the wider health system, but on the increasing number of people who are suffering on ramps around Tasmania.