New figures show the number of people attending Gold Coast hospital emergency departments hit an all-time high last month.
According to Gold Coast Health, 15,180 people presented to emergency at both the Gold Coast University Hospital and Robina Hospital in December.
That’s an increase of 5 per cent on December 2017 and exceeds the city’s population growth.
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Director of Emergency at Gold Coast Health, Associate Professor David Green said the holiday season has also seen an increase in injuries from accidents on Gold Coast waterways.
“The festive period is a peak tourist season for the city and a time when risk-taking behaviour increases and people spend more time by the water,” Dr Green said.
“We weren’t surprised to see, for example, a number of injuries from jetskis and more frequent near drowning presentations.”
However alcohol-related incidents were down, as were injuries from electric scooters compared to 2017.
Last month did see an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for the flu following a summer outbreak across Queensland.
In total, 173,441 people attended both Gold Coast University and Robina Hospitals, up 3 per cent on the year before with an increase in non-urgent cases.
“Our Category 2 and 3 presentations were up 11 per cent in December 2018, which means that significant resources would have been dedicated to treating these more urgent cases over the festive period,” Chief Operations Officer Kimberley Pierce said.
Ms Pierce says Gold Coast hospitals are still seeing and discharging a higher percentage of patients within four hours than many other hospitals in Queensland.
“Timely and quality care remain the objectives of our hard-working emergency doctors and nurses.”
There was also a jump in elective surgery cases last month, up 11.5 per cent on the same period in 2017.
But Gold Coast Health says nearly 100 per cent of patients were seen within clinically recommended times.