Health Authorities are urging Gold Coasters to keep emergency departments for serious medical conditions only as they experience increasingly high demand.
In a post to Facebook last night, Gold Coast Health warned locals to visit the hospital “only for emergencies” as both Gold Coast University Hospital and Robina Hospital EDs struggle.
Gold Coast Health Director of Emergency Dr David Green says a rise in flu cases is partly to blame for the rising pressure.
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“We’ve still got quite a lot of COVID cases and the onset of influencer A has also influenced our caseload here,” Dr Green says.
“We have large numbers of elderly patients who are greatly affected, plus we have all the usual loads of trauma, infectious disease, chronic disease, and the burden of drug and alcohol abuse that we see on a daily basis.”
In the first 3 months of this year, Queensland Health figures showed there were a staggering 42,341 people who presented to GCUH emergency department.
While Robina emergency had 26,446 show up for treatment.
Fresh data is expected at the end of June, but Dr David Green admits the situation over the past month has been “difficult”.
An additional ten treatment areas have been opened at GCUH to assist, but patients are being warned that non-emergency situations may likely be waiting a very long time.
“We will see everyone that comes here, the message is that sometimes you will just have to wait and that can be prolonged,”
“We’re constantly working with both the ambulance and with our staff on the floor to get a bed to put you in if you need it, and to find an area to see you if you don’t need the bed.”
Medical staff are working hard to alleviate the ramping across the Gold Coast, but admit it is a struggle.
“We do have to, at times, have patients in corridors and the ability to admit patients to the ward when there’s a bed shortage can overcrowd the emergency department,”
“We’re trying to offload reduce ramping and have access to our resuscitation beds for the most severe cases, which we do provide at all times.”