Our hospitals continue to see a consistent increase in the number of patients presenting to our Emergency Departments (EDs), and peaks in demand for hospital services are no longer limited to the winter season.

Over the last five years, there has been an 11% increase in presentations to South Australian metropolitan EDs. In the same period, there has been a 21% increase in presentations to EDs by ambulance.

But ramping is not caused at the ED front door – it requires a whole of hospital and whole of system response.

SA Health has developed a year-round hospital demand portal, which is updated quarterly with new strategies and initiatives we’ve introduced aimed at managing this demand, and those that we’re planning to implement to manage patient flow across the public health system.

There are also links to information on the preventative measures that the community can take to minimise illness throughout the year, and alternative care options for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses, as opposed to presenting to a hospital ED.

In South Australia, emergency planning is well underway to deal with a potential coronavirus pandemic spreading to SA. Visit the COVID-19 page for more information.