All south east hospitals taken off ‘Code Yellow’ after capacity crisis

The Queensland Government has confirmed all hospitals across the south east have been taken off ‘Code Yellow’ after a near 48-hour capacity crisis.

“I can advise that the Gold Coast overnight has stood down from Code Yellow,” Ms Palaszczuk told Queensland Parliament on Thursday morning.

“Metro North has now stood down and Metro South stood down at 10.30 this morning.”


“I want to thank the community for their understanding. I want to thank all of the health and hospital services for working collectively together,” the Premier said.

Ten hospitals across the south east were under code yellow on Tuesday afternoon, which is declared when hospitals are essentially full and cannot meet public demand for health services.

Health Minister Steven Miles says demand is easing after the government released $3 million in emergency funds to open up extra beds in private hospitals.

“Hospitals have indicated they do not expect to reschedule any elective surgeries based on current demand,” he told parliament on Thursday.

Nurses who were on leave or not rostered to work were all called in across the south east due to the unprecedented demand, which Mr Miles says is a result of a simultaneous and unseasonal spike in demand rather than a crisis in the public system.

“While emergency departments often see pressure in Winter, the system has never seen this kind of sustained increase in demand for hospitals across the south east outside of the winter period,” Mr Miles said.

Mr Miles said it took a coordinated and structured response to ease the pressure.

“Some patients at Logan indicated a concern about being transferred to other hospitals inside the HHS because it may place them further away from their support network of family and friends. In response, to help free hospital capacity, the HHS approved extra travel subsides to assist patients and their families,” Mr Miles said.

“The Gold Coast also took clear action to help manage the demand. The HHS opened 43 beds across their facilities that are not normally used for treating emergency patients.

“Extra nurses were called in and negotiations were undertaken with both private hospitals on the Coast and our colleagues in NSW who send critical patients from the Tweed to the Gold Coast.

“The hospital also made contingency plans to move low acuity patients to a local nursing home and free up hospital beds.

“These are complex and coordinated responses to a complex problem.”