The director of emergency medicine at Gold Coast Health, Associate Professor David Green, has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia.
The director of emergency medicine at Gold Coast Health, Associate Professor David Green, has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia. Gold Coast Health

World-class health care in an emergency

SINCE joining Gold Coast Health as the first registrar in the emergency department of the old Gold Coast Hospital on June 12, 1984, Dr David Green has seen enormous change, mostly in staffing levels and demand.

"It's now arguably the largest emergency department in the country and we're seeing a lot more of the elderly population to some extent,” he said.

"There's been huge changes in the health service. I remember when I first started, it was extremely busy back then, but there were a lot less staff and very few doctors compared to now.

"There have always been the same sort of social problems that affect emergency departments - alcoholism, homelessness, intravenous drug use, every other recreational drug use, domestic violence, people who are struggling with mental health concerns, the elderly with a huge burden of chronic disease and then risk-taking behaviours.

"The game itself doesn't change, the players involved do.”

For his work, the director of emergency medicine, Associate Professor Green, has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia.

"I was very surprised and quite proud and happy. It's something I never expected,” he said.

Dr Green said the new Gold Coast University Hospital, opened in 2013, had been a "fantastic investment”.

"The care provided in this hospital is absolutely world-class,” he said.

"I was part of the team which designed the emergency department from start to finish.”

Dr Green said the emergency department was currently training more geriatric specialists to respond to the increase in older patients.

Issues relating to "patient flow” are also a focus, including liaising with the ambulance service.

"The community values this emergency department and the emergency department works its hardest to look after what is over 300 patients most days in the best ways we can,” Dr Green said.

"Having seen the standards over the past 30 years, I can truly say the standards here in trauma and resuscitation are as good as anywhere that you'll ever see.

"Aside from years of working with patients, a lot of work I probably did to benefit the community was through the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine where I served as an examiner for over 20 years and a Queensland censor for seven years.

"I was very involved in the development and direction of registrar training during that period.

"We have a huge number of registrars and provisional trainees at both GCUH and Robina and a really good record of training and teaching.

"Teaching and research are the two things I'm most proud to see expand under my directorship.”

When Dr Green finds time away from his high-pressure job, he enjoys fishing and working as a freelance photo-journalist for fishing publications.


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