Sleep Faster! (Somebody else needs your blanket...)

Aust Health Rev. 2012 Aug;36(3):244-7. doi: 10.1071/AH11063.


One of the elements of the health reform plan, as agreed to by Australian state and federal governments, is to introduce a 4-h National Access Target, to reduce emergency department (ED) waiting times. This article highlights the flawed rationale behind the 4-h rule, the UK experience of this rule and discusses the potential dangers it poses to Australian patients. An alternative solution proposed is the separation of elective and emergency surgical streams to reduce the variability in demand for inpatient services.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Reform*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Waiting Lists*