Crash data should be like COVID: surgeons

·1-min read

Medical experts have called for road crash data to be made as freely available as information on COVID cases.

Members of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons have told an inquiry a lack of access to publicly available road trauma data was hindering efforts to improve safety.

The college's trauma committee chair Dr John Crozier told the parliamentary committee that, in some instances, the most recent data on the number of hospitalisations from road crashes were more than two-years-old.

"Anyone in the world who has internet access can see how we are dealing with COVID and how many hospital and ICU beds are occupied," he said.

"Why aren't we doing the same with road crash victims?

"More people have been killed in road crashes than from COVID from February 2020."

Dr Crozier said the availability of COVID data to the public during the pandemic had demonstrated that real-time hospital data would be able to be used in a range of contexts.

"(COVID) statistics are freely available to anyone who goes to the government health websites," he said.

"I can't attest to the committee with the same fidelity the number of hospitals or ICU beds for the survivors of road crashes.

"It is the case of the silent epidemic."

The college told the committee the data surrounding road crashes would help to inform which roads needed more safety upgrades.

However, Dr Crozier said consistent data among the states and territories was also needed.

"National aggregate data sets remain elusive quests," he said.

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