South East Queensland hospitals in crisis

The Queensland public health system is in crisis, with hospital emergency departments across the state’s southeast at capacity.

With no vacancies at any public hospital yesterday – except the Queensland Children’s Hospital – the demand is being labelled as unprecedented and unseasonal.

The Palaszczuk Government has announced $3 million to assist with the overflow on South East Queensland hospital emergency departments.


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Health Minister Steven Miles says the $3 million allocation from the government will be used to provide extra capacity to help relieve pressure, but that patients should be aware of the very high demand.

“Hospitals are open for emergencies but it’s important people understand that the most critical people will be seen first.”

Though, LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates has hit out at Labor’s policies, saying they’re having a terrible effect on patient care.

“Minister Steven Miles needs to stop blaming patients and start fixing this mess.

“Delivering better health services should be the priority,” Ms Bates said.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said emergency departments were facing very heavy pressure across South East Queensland at the moment, but there was no obvious reason for the unseasonal spike.

“We know the summer flu season has been 2.7 times higher than average and we know continued high heat has been a big factor this summer, but we think a range of factors are contributing to the spike in demand.

“A number of hospital and health services are experiencing huge demand.

“For example in Metro North alone, four of their busiest ever emergency department days have been in the last month.

“Queensland Health is coordinating a statewide, systematic response to resolve this challenge, but we are asking the public to help us by keeping emergency departments for emergencies,” Dr Young said.

“While we are working across the system to address the demand, please remember if you have a GP-style presentation, please go to a GP.”

“GPs can treat many conditions you might otherwise go to an emergency department for, such as removing stitches, sprains and strains, bites and stings, many viral and other infections, and assessment of prolonged illness or injury.”