Emergency doctors call on Government for new targets to help reduce ED wait times

Emergency doctors have drafted health targets of their own, and they want Minister Andrew Little to adopt them.

It comes as multiple deaths associated with ED wait times increase pressure on the Government.

Sick of the state of the country's hospitals, our emergency doctors have taken to penning policy themselves.

"If you don't have a target in place, then there is no main aim. There is nothing you're training your system towards to become a healthier system," Australasian College of Emergency Medicine Deputy-Censor Dr Elspeth Frascatore told Newshub.

They're called Hospital Access Targets. 

They state for admissions, greater than or equal to 60 percent of patients should have a stay of no longer than four hours. 

Eighty percent no longer than six hours and 90 percent no longer than eight hours. 

And all patients should be through ED within 12 hours. 

"We would love for these targets to meet the majority of the time because we know those targets would allow our patients to have a better experience and be more safe," Dr Frascatore said. 

The Labour Government scrapped National's so-called "arbitrary" health targets back in 2017. It did introduce "indicators", but ED wait times have still ballooned.

The Health Minister today rubbished suggestions the Government is opposed to health targets.

"We have measures in place for EDs who are required to achieve at a level of 95 percent. Either treating, discharging, admitting patients who go through ED within six hours," Health Minister Andrew Little said.

But, in a puzzling twist, Little's press secretary emailed Newshub research showing "targets don't work".

The National Party said whatever the measure, there are few signs of accountability.

"It is reported, but they are not held accountable for it. That's how it looks," National's Health spokesperson Shane Reti said.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the target tangle, ED doctors slog away on the frontlines.

"What we really want is just to be enabled to do our job well, and to come away from our day knowing that we really did do good that day," Dr Frascatore said. 

Our doctors and nurses battle away during trying times.