Almost half of all patients waited more than 30 minutes in an ambulance before being admitted to hospital in southeast Queensland in December.
Queensland Ambulance Service figures show ramping rose two per cent to more than 46 per cent of patients in the heavily-populated southeast between November and December 2021.
There was a major COVID-19 wave in December after the state’s domestic borders were reopened, but ramping was still above 44 per cent in the southeast in October.
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Health Minister Yvette D’Ath released the data in response to a parliamentary question and said the pandemic had placed immense pressure on health systems across the country.
“I would love to have a magic wand and stop this overnight. It is heartbreaking to see these delays,” she said.
“But no government … it doesn’t matter what your political persuasion is … wants to see these delays but no one has a quick fix to this.”
Ms D’ath warned the figures fluctuated based on emergency demand with Queensland facing the highest number of ambulance incidences in the country with 233 incidences for every 1000 people.
In comparison, South Australia fields around 180 calls and NSW 121.
“That’s the difference. We’re doing almost twice as many ambulance incidences as NSW,’ Ms D’ath said.
“We are doing our best and working really hard to improve those statistics most importantly to provide better health care for people Queensland.”
Liberal National Party health spokeswoman Rose Bates said ramping increased pressure on frontline health workers.
“The Health Minister must start taking real action now,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Palaszczuk Labor government must start listening or more Queenslanders are going to die waiting for an ambulance. That is the sad reality they are ignoring.”
At West Moreton Ipswich Hospital 66 per cent of patients were ramped in December, up from 45 per cent in October, according to the figures.
The same proportion of Logan Hospital patients were ramped in December, up from 64 per cent.
Redland Hospital ramping rose nine per cent to 55 per cent, while at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital it rose from 47 to 52 per cent.
Ramping at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland’s biggest, rose from 48 per cent to half of ambulance patients in the three months to December.
QAS figures showed ramping rose to 47 per cent at Chermside’s Prince Charles Hospital from 45 per cent.
At the Gold Coast University ramping was almost unchanged at 57 per cent, while at Princess Alexandra Hospital it rose from 38 per cent to 46 per cent.
Sunshine Coast University ramping rose from 32 per cent in October to 56 per cent, according to the figures.
Ambulance ramping also remained above 40 per cent of patients at Robina, Nambour and Redcliffe hospitals between October and December.
Ramping rose from 31 per cent to 34 per cent in Mackay, but fell from 37 per cent to 35 per cent in Caboolture in that period.
It also jumped from 22 per cent to 30 per cent in Bundaberg and was almost unchanged at 27 per cent in Toowoomba and 23 per cent in Gympie.
However, ramping remained low or improved between October and December in Hervey Bay, Cairns, Maryborough, Townsville, Gladstone and Mount Isa.
The biggest improvement was Hervey Bay, where ramping fell from 36 per cent to 28 per cent.
Ramping was almost non-existent in Mount Isa where 97 per cent of patients waited less than 30 minutes to be admitted.
© AAP 2022