Ambos waste 10,000 hours waiting around

 

Paramedics waited almost 10,000 hours with patients outside overloaded hospitals in February, stopping them from getting back on the road to help other sick and injured Queenslanders and prompting calls for a review of the health system which "is not coping".   

Startling new data obtained by The Courier-Mail has revealed ambulance officers lost more time waiting with patients last month compared to the same period last year despite there being less patients.

 

Ambulances outside the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Picture: David Clark
Ambulances outside the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Picture: David Clark

 

The revelation has prompted United Workers Union (UWU) national ambulance co-ordinator Fiona Scalon to call for a system review - similar to that conducted in 2013 amid a ramping crisis.

"We're back to the stage where we think that level of scrutiny is needed again," she said.

"UWU delegates are working with QAS to affect change in the areas that QAS has control over but the majority of the issue for our members stem from the fact that the Health and Hospital system is just not keeping up with demand."

The Sunday-Mail recently revealed patients had waited up to seven hours with paramedics before being moved to a bed, with increased demand being reported across the state.

It can today be revealed that a patient more recently waited eight hours at the Ipswich Hospital.

And Ms Scalon said every hospital in Brisbane was at capacity by 3pm on Thursday this week.

 

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Yvette D'Ath. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Yvette D'Ath. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

New figures show QAS "lost" 9213.34 hours last month while waiting for patients to be admitted to hospitals across the Sunshine Coast, Metro North, Metro South, Gold Coast and West Moreton.

This is compared to 5527.8 hours last February when there were 393 more patients.

Ambulances just missed their targets to attend the most critical jobs between February 1 and March 17 this year across Metro North and South - with 50 per cent responding to 1A jobs in 8.5 minutes.

The target is 8.2 minutes.

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Yvette D'Ath said the latest data showed 100 per cent of the most urgent Category 1 ED patients were being treated within two minutes.

"ED presentations in January were up 32,000 on the same time last year - with more than 212,000 presentations in total," she said.

"Demand is increasing across the state for healthcare, and our public hospitals are seeing more patients presenting to emergency departments than ever before.

"QAS responds to up to 3,000 incidents a day - and they're still responding to the most critical patients in optimum time frames.

"We'll work with Queensland Health, QAS and unions to ensure that our health system remains strong."

LNP health spokeswoman Ros Bates. Picture: Tara Croser.
LNP health spokeswoman Ros Bates. Picture: Tara Croser.

LNP health spokeswoman Ros Bates claimed Labor was losing control of healthcare.

"The Health Minister needs to explain why standards are slipping at hospitals across Queensland and how she plans to fix it," she said.

An additional $25 million will be spent this financial year to open more bed capacity across the system.

Ms Scalon said "hospital flow" needed to be at the top of the list for government.

"The system is not coping," she said.

 

RAMPING FIGURES FOR FEB 2021

 

Sunshine Coast

4301 QAS patients

1202.45 lost hours for paramedics

 

Metro North

8667 QAS patients

2392.83 lost hours for paramedics

 

Metro South

9397 QAS patients

3015.23 lost hours for paramedics

 

Gold Coast

4929 QAS patients

1368.4 lost hours for paramedics

 

West Moreton

2567 QAS patients

1234.43 lost hours for paramedics

 

Originally published as Ambos waste 10,000 hours waiting around


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