Exhausted paramedics, patients waiting hours as ambulance crisis exposed

Secret documents reveal Queensland’s ambulance crisis is worsening with patients waiting hours and exhausted paramedics sleeping at stations and being stood down because of fatigue.

More than 900 pages of documents have been obtained by the state opposition under Right to Information laws.

They cover three of Queensland’s busiest ambulance stations – Southport, Brisbane and Maroochydore.


The documents reveal significant delays at Southport over several days with one patient waiting 10.5 hours for an ambulance in October.

Paramedics have routinely been warned to expect delays at hospitals.

Other revelations include a patient in a wheelchair being ramped for more than three hours.

It has also been revealed that paramedics have been forced to use their own cars because of a shortage of ambulances.

The documents also highlight the strain paramedics are under with several being stood down from their shift because of fatigue.

One paramedic had to abandon their shift after being sent to an urgent job despite recording a dangerously high fatigue rating.

Another was forced to sleep at the station after their shift before driving home because of extreme exhaustion.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli says the documents should ring alarm bells for the Government.

“There is nowhere to hide and the Premier can’t keep saying she’s not across the details. This is further evidence of a broken system that the State Government can no longer ignore,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“Like the integrity crisis, the State Government wants to hide this from Queenslanders, but we won’t stop fighting for the truth, that’s why we’ve published the dossier online.

“Right now, Queenslanders can’t trust that an ambulance is going to arrive at their door in their hour of need. For the sake of patients and our health workers we need to do better because lives are depending on it.”

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates says frontline staff are overworked and under-resourced.

“Our exhausted paramedics are doing an incredible job under the toughest conditions. It is not fair or right for them to be treated this way,” Ms Bates said.

“Queensland Health was in crisis long before Covid, the fact these horror stories occurred all before the border opened at Christmas, proves the State Government is losing control of health.

“Ambulance staff deserve better.”