THE Western Australian government has unveiled a new weapon in its war on hospital emergency department waiting times - the super nurse.
But doctors say the government should put more nurses in wards rather than giving them extra duties if it's serious about cutting emergency department waiting times.
And more ward beds would also do a lot more to address problems than Health Minister Jim McGinty's latest plan to give postgraduate-trained nurses additional duties in hospital EDs to reduce patient waiting times and doctor workloads, doctors say.
Princess Margaret Hospital emergency department head Gary Geelhoed said the real problem was that some adult patients were waiting in emergency departments for days to get a ward bed.
This meant that resources that should be used to treat acute patients who were arriving at emergency departments, were being used on waiting inpatients.
So it would be better to put more nurses in the wards rather than getting them to do minor procedures in emergency departments as planned by Mr McGinty.
Full Story: 'Super nurses' cut waiting times