Internal leak reveals ramping crisis at Qld hospitals

Ambulances spent up to 185 hours ramped in one day as leaked internal reports further reveal the ramping crisis gripping emergency departments across the state.

The Courier-Mail can reveal paramedics spent 185 hours waiting to offload patients and prepare for their next callout at Ipswich, Sunshine Coast University, Cairns and Gold Coast University hospitals on Sunday.

As the government announced yesterday it was convening talks with stakeholders, 15 ambulances sat ramped at Gold Coast University Hospital and patients brought to the Cairns Hospital via ambulance faced a three-hour wait.

 

Ambulances lined up at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
Ambulances lined up at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

 

The leaks came as Health Minister Yvette D'Ath defended the under-pressure system, calling on the Commonwealth to find room for almost 600 people who are using public hospitals while waiting to be moved to aged-care and disability facilities.

She said 60 beds were being used by COVID-19 patients while attributing some of the constraint to clearing elective surgery lists that had backed up during the pandemic.

"Emergency departments across the state are seeing significant, sustained and unprecedented demand pressures," she said.

The 185 hours - referred to as lost QAS "availability" - are calculated from when an ambulance arrives at a hospital with a patient to when it indicates it's ready to respond to another job.

The government was peppered with ramping questions by the opposition in parliament yesterday, where leader David Crisafulli claimed Labor was losing control of the health system.

Manager of opposition business Jarrod Bleijie demanded to know where the Health Minister's "plan to eliminate ambulance ramping" was.

It comes as the opposition received more than 1200 emails after asking Queenslanders to share their experiences with the state's health system on Monday night.

 

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath defended the under-pressure system. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath defended the under-pressure system. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

 

Ms D'Ath said Queensland's paramedics and frontline health workers were doing an outstanding job in the face of ever-growing demand.

"We're looking forward to receiving input later this week from hospital staff, health consumers and unions on how we can tackle the unprecedented demand we're now seeing," she said.

Meanwhile, a Queensland Health spokesman said several hospitals had been under "severe pressure" due to a number of factors but was notified of just one capacity-related "Code Yellow" between March 15 and 22.

Redcliffe Hospital declared a Code Yellow on March 17.

Do you have a story to tell? Contact Domanii.Cameron@news.com.au

Originally published as Internal leak reveals ramping crisis at Qld hospitals



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