Ambulance Queensland

19,000 flu cases confirmed in Queensland, ambulances struggling to keep up

QUEENSLANDERS are being urged to only call an ambulance if it is an absolute emergency as paramedics struggle to cope with record demand triggered by an unprecedented flu outbreak.

More than 19,200 people have contracted the flu in Queensland so far this year, resulting in a 13 percent increase in calls made to Triple Zero (000), most of which came from the state’s southeast.

In the past fortnight alone, the Queensland Ambulance Service has experienced eight of its ten busiest days on record for critical Code 1 incidents.

There has been a 22 percent increase in critical Code 1 cases in the past week, compared to the same period last year.

Last Monday was the busiest, with 613 more calls than normal made to Triple Zero.

As a result of the record demand, 40 new frontline paramedics will be deployed across the southeast.

Nineteen of these paramedics will be based on the Gold Coast, 15 in Brisbane and six in the West Moreton area.

The extra services were made possible thanks to the State Government’s $10 million Emergency Care Action Plan which was implemented last month.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the government has also increased hospital capacity.

“Our $15 million Winter Beds Strategy has also provided access to an extra 90 hospital beds during surges and in areas of high demand,” he said.

“These initiatives have gone a long way to help meet the increasing demand but we also need support from the community, which is why we’re asking the public to keep our ambulances and emergency departments for emergencies only.”

QAS Acting Commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutton said strategies were put in place prior to the flu season to cope with the predicted extra workload.

“Despite this unprecedented demand, we’ve still been able to respond to our most critical patients within our optimum timeframes, but those with less serious conditions may need to wait a bit longer than usual for an ambulance,” she said.

“We expect it will be another week before the demand subsides.

“I also want to ask Queenslanders to do their bit to help reduce the flu burden by using QAS’ finite resources responsibly, which means only calling an ambulance if it’s vital to do so.”

QAS Medical Director Dr Stephen Rashford said many flu patients were leaving it too late to seek help and ended up in hospital with cardiac and respiratory issues.

“In a lot of cases they’re having trouble breathing and those sort of symptoms require a Code 1 response,” Dr Rashford said.

“We’re also seeing patients who have experienced several days of sickness at home reach a point where they require an ambulance to get them to hospital.”

Mr Dick has called on the Turnbull Government to abandon proposed cuts to funding for the national After Hours Home Doctor Service.

“Media reports today indicate that access to after-hours doctors could collapse and emergency departments across Australia could be overrun with one million additional patients if the Turnbull Government halves the Medicare rebate for home visits,” Mr Dick said.

“Any cuts to the Medicare rebate for the home doctor service would be a disaster for our state’s public hospitals and ambulance service.

“More importantly, it would make life harder for sick Queenslanders,” Mr Dick said.

A recent Deloitte Access Economics report on the impact of the home doctor service showed that 762,000 Queenslanders accessed the home doctor service last financial year.

The report also noted that from a survey of 50,000 home doctor patients across the country last year, 56 percent said they would have called an ambulance or attended an emergency department if they couldn’t access a home visit.

It also shows that the average patient self-presenting at an emergency department costs taxpayers $368. This cost soars to $1,351 if patients request an ambulance.

By contrast, an urgent after-hours consultation with a home doctor costs the healthcare system on average just $128.

Mr Dick said it is clear that any changes to the home doctor service will see even more pressure on our public hospitals and the Queensland Ambulance Service.


RACQ research shows Gold Coasters run the most red lights in QLD

New RACQ data has revealed the Gold Coast Highway and Margaret Avenue intersection at Broadbeach has the most red light offences in the state.

There were more than 1600 fines at these locations in the last year and RACQ’s Lauren Ritchie said on average more than 82 red lights were run each day on the Coast.

“It’s a complete disregard for road safety and there’s no reason to take an unnecessary risk,” she said.

“Too many motorists are choosing to run a yellow light to gain a few extra seconds, and with more than 150 lives already lost on Queensland roads this year, motorists need to change this behaviour.

“Yellow means stop if it’s safe to do so, not go faster.”

Check out the hot spots below;

Camera location Infringement notices
1. Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, at intersection with Margaret Avenue 1644
2. Main Street, Kangaroo Point, at intersection with Vulture Street 1214
3. Kessels Road, Macgregor, at intersection with Mains Road 993
4. Beaudesert Road, Calamvale, at intersection with Compton Road 980
5. Lutwyche Road, Windsor, at intersection with Northey Street 962
6. Musgrave Street, Coolangatta, at intersection with Coolangatta Road 933
7. Smith Street, Southport, at intersection with Kumbari Avenue 844
8. Vulture Street, Woolloongabba, at intersection with Leopard Street 836
9. Duke Street, Annerley, at intersection with Juliette Street 821
10. Aerodrome Road, Maroochydore, at intersection with Maud Street. 817

Police Qld

Man arrested after dramatic two-hour police chase on the Gold Coast

UPDATE 4AM: A MAN will face court today, accused of leading Police on a pursuit through the Gold Coast Hinterland.

The Police helicopter was deployed on Wednesday afternoon, after the man was allegedly seen driving a ute in a dangerous way in Hope Island.

The driver was tracked to Movie World in Oxenford and on to Mount Tamborine, before the man tried to make a run for it.

He was arrested in bushland (video below) and has since been charged with break and enter as well as unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

The 28-year-old from Newtown is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court later today.

EARLIER 9PM: A MAN has been arrested in dramatic scenes after allegedly leading police on a dramatic two-hour chase through several Gold Coast suburbs.

Members of the public first called police around 1.30pm on Wednesday after spotting a blue ute driving recklessly along Santa Barbara Boulevard at Hope Island.

The police helicopter was deployed and managed to track the ute as it travelled down the M1 to Mudgeeraba, through Gilston and Highland Park before getting back onto the motorway and heading north.

The ute eventually came to a stop at Movie World in Oxenford where police say the driver and an occupant jumped out and tried to steal another vehicle from the car park.

With time running out as the police helicopter hovered overhead and patrol cars closed in, the pair ditched their plan and jumped back in the ute and took off.

Polair followed the ute as it made its way into the Gold Coast hinterland before the pursuit came to a dramatic end on Mount Tamborine.

Police say the vehicle left the road and drove into bushland near Thunderbird Park where three occupants – two men and one woman – jumped out of the car and fled through thick vegetation.

One man was arrested at the scene (video below), while police continue to search for the other two occupants who remain on the run, believed to still be in the hinterland.

Anyone who has any information or may have seen a man and a woman running through the area is urged to come forward and call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Ash Taylor

Titans face player revolt over Hayne Henry saga

The chaotic week continues for the Titan’s with their young halves pairing of Ash Taylor and Kane Elgey reportedly preparing to leave, if Neil Henry stays on as coach.

News Corp has reported senior Titans officials said the duo would not sign new contracts at the club while Neil Henry remains as coach.

Gold Coast CEO Graham Annesley alluded to the fact there might be more problems at the club than just the ongoing feud between Jarryd Hayne and Henry on Monday.

“It’s broader than what might appear on the surface in relation to Jarryd and Neil,” he said.

However, Henry fronted the media yesterday and said “there is no feud”.

Late last week the Titans held a series of interviews with senior players and it’s understood the playing group support Hayne over Henry, denying the star footballer was a toxic influence.

It would be a chaotic turn of events if the Titans can’t keep their young stars in Taylor and Elgey, and it seems more and more likely that the board will terminate Henry’s contract in a bid to harmonise the playing group.

The Titans are expected to make an announcement of their decision next week.

Jarryd Hayne Gold Coast Titans

Hayne Plane in holding pattern following crisis talks on the Gold Coast

Update Tuesday 15 August 4am: Speculation is mounting that Titans coach Neil Henry will be the one to go in the wake of crisis talks at the NRL club.

Henry met with the Gold Coast club’s board on Monday following a tense weekend on and off the field.

He reportedly gave the ultimatum of ‘him or me’ over his dispute with million-dollar player Jarryd Hayne.

The star fullback, who also met with club bosses, has been far from his best on field for the Titans this season, despite playing for what is believed to be a contract worth $1.2m.

Following the meeting, CEO Graham Annesley told reporters the board needed time to consider the situation.

But The Daily Telegraph claims the club will sack Henry as a result of the feud, and is simply waiting until after Thursday’s game against Parramatta.

Journalist Phil Rothfield reports Henry’s contract will be terminated 12 months early, and it would have already happened “except they have a Thursday game that’s why they’ve bought a bit more time”.

“The board meeting found the situation was untenable and one had to go. Neil Henry is on $400,000 a year and Jarryd Hayne is on 1.2 million.”

Rothfield also sighted conflict with other players, including Ash Taylor, as a reason for axing Henry.

Monday 14 August: JARRED Hayne will remain with the Titans for now at least, following a day of crisis talks on the Gold Coast.

Hayne was summonsed to a meeting on Monday in a bid to repair his frayed relationship with coach Neil Henry.

After two hours of talking, the Club’s board delayed making a decision on how to settle the conflict.

Speaking after the meeting, CEO Graham Annesly told reporters the board needed time to consider the situation.

“The Board is not going to be rushed into making a decision,” he said.

“We are talking about people’s lives and livelihoods here.

“This is a really, really complex issue and it’s not an easy one to resolve.”

Annesly said it wasn’t only the relationship between Coast and player that’s under scrutiny.

“It’s broader than just what it might appear on the surface in relation to Jarryd and Neil and the Board want to take the full amount of consideration to make any decision on what might happen going forward,” he said.

Monday’s meeting was adjourned, with the board expected to make a decision within the next week.

The struggling Gold Coast side will face-off against Hayne’s old club Parramatta Eels on Thursday.

It’ll be the first time that Hayne has played against his old club since returning to the NRL last year.