Mersey Hospital emergency department - 31 March 2020

31 March 2020

Eric Daniels, Chief Executive, Hospitals, North/North West

Due to the Tasmanian Health Service’s response to coronavirus the Mersey Community Hospital’s emergency department will have reduced opening hours.

In order to properly manage possible coronavirus presentations, the THS has established separate areas within emergency departments to ensure infection control measures are maintained. The configuration of the MCH emergency department does not allow for this model.

This means that from tomorrow night, the MCH emergency department will close at 10pm and reopen at 8am the next morning.

It will then be open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.

Patients presenting outside the opening hours will be redirected to other facilities.

By reducing its opening hours, resources will be redirected to the North West Regional Hospital, which does have a separation protocol in place to effectively manage possible coronavirus presentations, as well as other patients.

The MCH emergency department has also been impacted by the withdrawal of locum doctors due to coronavirus issues around the country.

Outside of the new operating hours, Ambulance Tasmania will transport people in need of emergency hospitalisation to the facility that is best able to provide the service that patient requires.

It is important that the THS does everything it can to support efforts to effectively diagnose and treat coronavirus patients while reducing the spread to other people, including other patients. The measure will assist in effectively managing resources that can be best deployed to protect the community and our health care workers. While this is a tough decision, it is the best option in these circumstances and consistent with our pandemic planning.

This change to operations will be constantly monitored and evaluated.