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Minister meets emergency taskforce to discuss new beds

22 November, 2007

NSW Minister for Health, Reba Meagher, will meet with members of the Emergency Care Taskforce to discuss placement of the 250 new acute hospital beds announced by the Iemma Government.

"This $30 million package will ease the pressure on the state's busiest emergency departments by putting more beds where they are needed," Meagher said.

"I look forward to working with Emergency physicians to ensure these beds are opened at hospitals with the greatest need."

These beds will ease the pressure in hospitals which have experienced the highest growth in emergency department activity, including Liverpool, Royal Prince Alfred, Royal North Shore, St George, John Hunter and St Vincent's.

Meagher re-established the Emergency Care Taskforce six weeks ago.

"The Iemma Government has listened to the concerns of emergency physicians and acted swiftly to put more beds into the state's hospital system," she said.

"Everyone knows there is increasing demand at our public hospitals, and this package demonstrates the Iemma Government's commitment to reduce the pressure on our busy emergency departments."

In the remainder of this financial year, the Iemma Government will invest $30 million in:

- An extra 150 acute care beds for hospitals which have experienced high levels of growth in demand

- More than $3.6 million in 2007/08 for 22 additional emergency specialist positions to support our busiest emergency departments

- A campaign to support recruitment of medical staff to areas of shortage, including dedicated local support, targeting emergency and mental health

- Promoting the role of Nurse Practitioners with a clarification of this role

- Promoting ED nursing as a specialty through scholarships and targeted further education programs.

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