We say: leave urgent cases for the emergency room

The increase in non-urgent cases that have presented to Wagga Rural Referral Hospital in the past 12 months is an example is verging on the edge of a slippery slope.

Recent statistics have shown that there has been a significant increase in non-urgent cases in the last year.

The reasons why are unclear – is it a lack of availability of general practitioners, laziness or hypochondria?

But one thing is clear – enough is enough.

If you are going to the hospital’s emergency room for a non-urgent ailment, you might think it’s free medical attention but trust us, you’re paying in other ways.

GP availability might be limited but a hospital waiting room is full of coughing adults, crying children and uncomfortable chairs. 

Nobody subjects themselves to long hours waiting in a hospital unless it is urgent.

Well, so we thought.

But the figures reveal otherwise.

We must remember that these figures are based on ‘non-urgent cases’ but there is little that clearly explains what defines those cases.

There has been chatter in the community in the past about residents calling paramedics for menstrual cramps or presenting to the hospital for the common, and largely untreatable, cold.

That seems unnecessary.

Cost is always going to be an issue when it comes to health care or medical treatment but how does one put a price on their wellbeing?

Heart problems, broken bones, breathing difficulties, any kind of limb impalement, allergic reactions, these are things you need emergency attention for.

Do not waste the precious time and resources of the hard-working doctors and nurses on minor ailments that can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers, water and rest.

Do not take up seats or beds that should be reserved for people who really need the emergency attention.

Why spend hours waiting to be told there’s nothing that can be done?

Getting an appointment with the ever-busy GP might be impossible but there are other ways to determine if you should seek medical treatment. 

Using the Health-Direct GP Hotline or online symptom checker (do not consult Doctor Google) might assist you to determine whether you need to seek further medical assistance.