Emergency medicine

George A Jelinek, Lindsay M Murray and Peter A Cameron
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04244.x
Published online: 7 January 2002

Emergency Medicine (EM) was recognised as a principal specialty in Australia in 1993, and the development of EM has had a profound effect on the way healthcare is delivered in Australia. Most major Australian hospitals now have 6–12 full-time emergency physicians. The Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee has estimated that more than twice the current number of EM physicians will be needed by 2007.1 Within five years from now, major emergency departments (EDs) will have 16-hour, 7-day cover (some will have 24-hour cover). Subspecialisation will occur in toxicology, retrieval, disaster medicine, paediatric emergency medicine and hyperbaric medicine, and academic EM will grow rapidly.

  • 1 Emergency Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA.
  • 2 University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital

  • 1. Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee. The emergency medicine workforce in Australia. AMWAC Report 1997.1. Sydney: AMWAC, 1997.
  • 2. Hourigan CT, Mountain D, Langton PE, et al. Changing the site of delivery of thrombolytic treatment for acute myocardial infarction from the coronary care unit to the emergency department greatly reduces door to needle time. Heart 2000; 84: 157-163.
  • 3. Jelinek GA, Baggoley CJ. Financial incentives to change emergency service performance. Med J Aust 1999; 171: 231-232.
  • 4. Rogers IR, Evans L, Jelinek GA, et al. Using clinical indicators in emergency medicine: documenting performance improvements to justify increased resource allocation. J Accid Emerg Med 1999; 16: 319-321.
  • 5. Williams AG, Jelinek GA, Rogers IR, et al. The effect on hospital admission profiles of establishing an emergency department observation ward. Med J Aust 2000; 173: 411-414.


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