Govt denies beds an issue as patients forced to sleep on hospital floor

The Health Minister is dismissing claims of a crisis at Gold Coast University Hospital after patients were reportedly forced to sleep on the floor of the hospital’s emergency department.

Photos have emerged of people lying on the ground on Sunday as they waited hours to be treated.

But Yvette D’ath insists a lack of beds was not the issue.


“On Sunday evening there was an extraordinary amount of work but particularly there were a number of life-threatening, complex cases so there were big teams working on those,” Ms D’ath said.

“Like always happens in emergency departments the teams always triage those waiting in E.D to identify whether they’re in life-threatening circumstances or whether they can wait.

“So, it wasn’t a case of beds, it wasn’t that people were waiting in ED for that long because there were no beds in E.D, there were beds available but the clinical team were concentrating on saving peoples lives.”

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates has described the Minister’s response as a slap in the face to the hard-working staff at the hospital.

“Yvette D’ath needs to go and tell them why they don’t need any more beds, we know there is a huge bed shortage on the Gold Coast,” Ms Bates said.

“Gold Coast University Hospital is the busiest E.D in the country. It sees around 420 cases a day. It is now on steroids. It was already broken before COVID.”

The state opposition is calling on the government to fast-track plans for a hospital at Coomera to ease pressure on the Gold Coast University Hospital and Robina.

“This state government promised a hospital on the northern Gold Coast prior to the last election. Here we are 16 months later and they’re still talking about it,” Coomera MP Michael Crandon said.

“They committed a measly $3 million for planning. That $3 million is still on the table, still part of the planning and we are years away from any planning to be finalised.

“We really do desperately need to get moving on this. It needs now to be a fast-tracked hospital on the northern Gold Coast.”