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NSW emergency depts set to receive more doctors

11 December, 2007

Emergency departments across NSW will receive an additional 35 specialist doctors as part of a staffing package announced by NSW Minister for Health, Reba Meagher.

Meagher said the 35 new emergency specialist positions would be allocated across the eight Area Health Services and The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

"This investment in more doctors is part of the $30 million emergency department package announced last month to help ease the burden on our busy public hospitals," Meagher said.

"We are already funding more beds in some of our busiest hospitals to help relieve the pressure and move those patients who need hospital treatment out of the emergency department and into the hospital wards.

"This package will put more doctors into emergency departments across the state.

"This latest increase means that since July this year we will have increased the number of specialist positions in metropolitan emergency departments by more than 14 per cent and by 16 per cent in rural emergency departments."

The allocation of the additional positions follows discussion with NSW Health and the Emergency Care Taskforce.

The additional ED specialist positions will be allocated to:

South Eastern Sydney Illawarra - 8.75 (Full-time Equivalent)

Sydney South West - 6

Hunter New England - 4.5

North Coast - 4.5

The Children's Hospital at Westmead - 3.5

Sydney West - 3

Northern Sydney Central Coast - 2.25

Greater Southern - 2.25

Greater Western - 0.25

Meagher said a dedicated recruitment strategy is also underway to attract new Emergency specialists to public hospitals and to retain trainee specialists who are completing their training.

"Area Health Services are already seeing some good results from current recruitment strategies, with additional emergency department doctors recruited recently for hospitals in Newcastle, Tamworth, Gosford and Wollongong," Meagher said.

"And these additional positions will ensure that hospitals such as Griffith, Broken Hill, Manning, Port Macquarie, Shoalhaven, Fairfield, Auburn, and Blacktown now meet emergency department training accreditation requirements.

"The NSW Government is committed to increasing the number of specialists in emergency departments across the NSW public hospital system to meet increasing demand."

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