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Shame, Shame, Shame December 8, 2008

Posted by faelix in moron-ocity.
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Shameful.

ELDERLY Victorians are being dumped in hospital emergency departments as their relatives go on holidays.

Frontline hospital staff have lifted the lid on the shocking practice of “granny dumping”, saying it is on the increase and peaks over the Christmas period.

There are calls for an urgent inquiry as worried emergency department workers warn the practice is robbing genuine patients of vital beds.

Last Monday, a woman in her 70s was delivered by ambulance to the Northern Hospital’s emergency department, where her relatives requested she stay for three weeks.

The Australasian College of Emergency Medicine’s Dr David Eddey said the ageing population was fuelling a rise in granny dumping.

“When people go away on holidays, it happens,” he said.

“The number of elderly patients being dumped at emergency departments because their relatives just don’t know what else to do would be significant.”

Dr Eddey, who works at Geelong Hospital, said emergency departments typically received about two cases of granny dumping each year.

That adds up to about 76 elderly people being deserted in the state’s 38 public emergency wards each year.

Another ED worker, a nurse for 30 years, told of families abandoning their elders on Boxing Day when they took off on holiday.

She estimated that for every 30 medical ward beds, four would be occupied by an older person who was not sick enough to be in hospital.

Dr Eddey said patients were accommodated while staff found alternative care, adding: “Often they do stay in an emergency department for a while, or a short-stay bed.”

One emergency department employee said December signalled the start of the “granny dumping season”.

The people who do this to their parents should be publicly shamed.

While I don’t want to encourage this kind of behaviour, there’s always going to be the morons who will still do this, it’d be nice if there was a place that could and would take care of these elderly people during the dumping season, for a nominal charge.

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