Shadow minister for health Ros Bates with Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen outside Hervey Bay Hospital earlier this year wile lobbying for hospital bed funding before the release of the state budget.
Shadow minister for health Ros Bates with Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen outside Hervey Bay Hospital earlier this year wile lobbying for hospital bed funding before the release of the state budget. Alistair Brightman

'It's a joke': Hervey Bay MP slams flu claims

HERVEY Bay MP Ted Sorensen has rejected claims a monster flu season is to blame for strains on the city's emergency department.

This is despite health professionals and Queensland's Health Minister dubbing this year's season worse than 2009's swine flu epidemic.

Mr Sorensen believes not enough resources, funding and planning has gone into the hospital's new emergency building to service the Fraser Coast population's health needs.

He said the response to questions on notice to the health minister earlier this year about the number of transfers to other hospitals showed not enough beds were available in Hervey Bay.

"It's just a joke if they say the increases in presentations are solely due to flu season," he told the Chronicle.

"The staff are doing a great job, it's not their fault they are working under extreme conditions."

Mr Miles remained confident, however, that the winter bed management strategy would manage peak demand by opening "extra beds and putting on extra staff".

He also insisted the average waiting time to be seen in the Hervey Bay ED was "only 15 minutes".

"(In May) the most significant increases were in patients who were triaged as category 2 or 3, often the most complex to diagnose.

"Despite the increase in demand, the team was able to treat 81 per cent of patients within clinically recommended time frames, and 79 per cent of patients were seen in the ED and either discharged or admitted within the target time of four hours - meaning the vast majority of patients are being seen on time."



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