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.


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.”

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The State Government urgently needs to provide a LOT more funding as there are wards not even open in GCUH – they have the space but refuse to employ the nurses required to man them. I had a friend who could not get a graduate position after she finished her nursing degree. Why? Obviously we need all available beds / wards to be open. Further my mother (in her 70s and on an aged pension) went up to GCUH last week to get her injection in her eye for Macular degeneration but was told when she got there they did not have any of the medication needed for the injection? Why? Apparently a number of people were turned away. They had already put her off for an extra 3 weeks. If she gets treatment privately it is $700 plus every 6 weeks. A lot of money out of pocket for a pensioner (she pays $700 plus up front and only gets about $300 back from Medicare). She has been put off for a week by GCUH and in the meantime she is walking around with blurred vision and the prospect of going blind if she does not receive treatment urgently. Is the government then going to pay for aids to help her when she is blind because she did not get an injection that would have cost the government almost nothing. How many other people are in this same situation?

Appalling….deserve more dignified treatment…I’m from Taiwan. It is shocking that the elderly get this level of health care services.