New South Wales Labor leader Chris Minns shares experience working in emergency rooms in Sydney

NSW opposition leader Chris Minns said he would like to “see for himself” what is happening in Sydney’s emergency departments facing unprecedented pressure.

NSW opposition leader Chris Minns toured Western Sydney emergency rooms over the weekend.

He said he needed to see the crisis in major city hospitals in person as they face unprecedented pressure from rising Covid-19 cases.

“I wanted to see it with my own eyes,” Minns told 2GB’s Chris Smith on Sunday.

The leader of the opposition visited Blacktown Hospital on Friday evening and spoke to people waiting for emergency care.

“I tried to talk to the medical staff as well, but as you know, they are busy,” he said.

On Saturday night, Minns sat in the emergency room of Westmead Hospital and wrote down how he described what was happening in front of him.

“It’s a full house on Saturday night and a lot of people are waiting a long time,” he said in an audio recording posted to his Instagram just after 8 p.m.

“Several people I have spoken to have already said that this evening (sic) will be a long wait.

“This is yet another example of how our emergency departments are currently under stress and strain in New South Wales.”

From January to March 2022, one in five patients waited at least half an hour in the back of an ambulance after arriving at an emergency room in New South Wales, according to the Bureau of Health Statistics.

“That number is pretty bad for Western Sydney too, where seven out of ten critically ill patients are not seen on time,” he said.

“Our front line civil service is doing its best and they are open 24/7, but Saturday night, busy government hospital, downtown Western Sydney is a real pressure.”

More than 55,000 people have left the ER without any treatment, more than in any other quarter since 2010.

Meanwhile, every tenth person spent more than 18 hours and 29 minutes in an emergency.

“You are putting the Covid pandemic on top of a terrible flu season, on a state-of-the-art public health system that is under severe pressure and in need of resources,” Mr Minns said.

“It’s a recipe for real stress and tension.”

The leader of the opposition questioned the liberal government’s $4 billion investment to hire 7,000 frontline medical workers over the next 12 months.

“The problem is that there is a labor shortage in the whole economy… the chances that they will recruit so many people in such a short time are practically zero,” he said.

“I really sympathize with the nurses, front line health workers and paramedics who are working hard and have been working for the past two years.

“They’re just not getting a breather and don’t seem to be getting the support they need from the New South Wales government.”

Originally published as New South Wales Labor leader Chris Minns is seeing first-hand the health crisis in Sydney.