The CLP Government’s decision to finally use Labor’s Darwin medi-hotel to relieve pressure on Royal Darwin Hospital comes two years too late.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has warned that patients are flooding the hospital, leading to bed-block, double-bunking and long waiting times in the hospital’s emergency department.
“It’s an absolute scandal that the CLP has refused for two years to properly use this facility that Labor built to improve health outcomes in the Top End,” Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said in Darwin today.
“Labor provided $18 million to build the medi-hotel precisely because our health and hospitals reform process showed it was needed in Darwin.
“A major issue in the NT health system is accommodating people who have to travel long distances and are not able to go home during their medical treatments, without having them take desperately needed beds in an already overcrowded system.
“It is symbolic of the CLP Government’s complete incompetence in health that it refused to properly fund the medi-hotel for two years, and is only now acknowledging the damage this has done to the Territory’s health system.”
Northern Territory Labor Senator Nova Peris said the medi-hotel was purpose built to accommodate hospital patients, not to securely detain people.
“The medi-hotel was purpose built to reduce bedblock at Royal Darwin Hospital and free beds up for patients,” Senator Peris said.
“The CLP were warned not to scrap the medi-hotel.
“Royal Darwin Hospital is one of the busiest hospitals in the country – that’s why Labor built the medi-hotel in the first place.
“In the meantime, Territorians have had to endure longer wait times and fewer available beds at the Royal Darwin Hospital due to CLP incompetence.”