Boss hits back at LNP'S criticism of Bay's emergency dept
A WIDE Bay health boss has hit back at claims that Hervey Bay residents are waiting too long for emergency treatment.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington claimed new data on patient wait-times at emergency departments revealed almost one-third of patients arriving at Hervey Bay Hospital weren't being seen in clinically recommended times.
"The people of Hervey Bay deserve a world-class health system and Labor isn't working to deliver the services we need," she said.
But Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Adrian Pennington said the service had consistently been one of the state's best performers in treating emergency patients within recommended times.
"The nature of the public health sector means we also deal with peaks and troughs of activity and we work hard to ensure we have patient flow strategies to deal with these fluctuations as they occur," he said.
Mr Pennington shut down Ms Frecklington's claims and said it was more accurate to assess emergency performance over a longer period of time because presentation numbers do fluctuate.
"The November data shows 69 per cent of patients were seen within their clinically-recommended waiting time at Hervey Bay Hospital and 84 per cent of patients were off the stretcher within 30 minutes," he said.
Over a 12 months period, 100 per cent of Category 1 patients were seen within two minutes - the clinically recommended time, while 83 per cent of category 2 patients were seen within 10 minutes, 71 per cent of Category 3 patients within 30 minutes, 67 per cent of Category 4 patients within an hour and 86 per cent of Category 5 patients within two hours.
In total, 72 per cent of patients were treated within the clinically recommended time. Mr Pennington said capacity challenges at Hervey Bay Hospital's emergency department weren't new and it was a credit to the professionalism of the team that the challenges were managed well on a daily basis.
He said the $40 million toward upgrading the emergency department, which would almost double bed capacity from 19 to 37, would help solve those issues.