Ambulance ramping, system pressure, and hospitals in crisis: what do the data tell us?

Laura M Boyle, Mark Mackay and Keith Stockman
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51335
Published online: 13 December 2021

To the Editor: Recent media reports imply there is an increased pressure on Adelaide’s metropolitan emergency medical system which has resulted in additional ambulance ramping and consequent industrial action.1,2,3 We collected a novel dataset of emergency department (ED) capacity state observations at 30‐minute intervals from the public South Australia ED Dashboard4 to investigate the claims of increased pressure. The dashboard uses a traffic light system to indicate ED busyness.

  • Laura M Boyle1,2
  • Mark Mackay3
  • Keith Stockman4

  • 1 Mathematical Sciences Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • 2 Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Complete the Picture Consulting, Adelaide, SA
  • 4 Staying Well and Hospital Without Walls Program, Northern Health, Melbourne, VIC



Laura Boyle acknowledges the support of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS). She was an ACEMS‐funded researcher at the University of Adelaide.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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