Dr Mark Duncan-Smith wants to make one thing very clear: ambulance ramping isn’t caused by patients.

The AMA WA President had a pretty no-nonsense chat with Clairsy & Lisa on Thursday, which mainly covered the effectiveness of RATs and the explosion of COVID case numbers this week.

On Wednesday, WA reported 17,033 new cases, and a jump of more than 4600 on the 12,390 reported on Tuesday. It took active cases across the state to almost 69,000, although the number of people in hospital actually fell slightly to 275.

The state’s current infection rates were the equivalent of NSW having more than 50,000 cases a day.

This surge has the AMA big cheese calling for the state government to reverse its decision to drop indoor mask mandates to assist in flattening the curve.

The other issue is that of ambulance ramping, and he reckons we have it all wrong.

“The GP patients that go to [emergency departments] aren’t the biggest problem; they get seen to and sent home,” he said. “They’re not the cause of ramping.”

Dr Duncan-Smith called this line of thinking “a furphy, a diversion.”

“Ramping is caused by patients going to ED that need to go into hospital and the hospital is already full,” he continued, “The top three causes of ramping are lack of beds, lack of beds, and lack of beds.”

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