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Melbourne Royal Children’s hospital 12-hour wait times blamed on summer viruses and lack of bulk-billing GPs

Demand back to normal in emergency department after long wait times for some patients with less urgent illness

The Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne is back to “normal” levels of demand after a surge on Monday night that led to emergency wait times of up to 12 hours.

Dr Sarah Arachchi, a general paediatrician who works across public and private hospitals in Melbourne, said a lack of bulk-billing doctors, summer viruses including Covid-19, and health anxiety among carers had led to the hospital having to urge people to seek alternative care if their child’s condition was not urgent.

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