MP calls for more patients beds at Hervey Bay Hospital
HERVEY Bay MP Ted Sorensen says 60 more beds are needed at Hervey Bay Hospital to meet demand.
Mr Sorensen told the Chronicle he receives regular complaints from locals about long wait-times for beds.
"Patients needing admission are left bottlenecked in A&E when wards are full," Mr Sorensen said.
"I have had many complaints about triaging processes.
The pressure that health staff are faced with was highlighted to Mr Sorensen by Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service CEO Adrian Pennington.
It was Mr Pennington who quoted the 60 plus beds figure.
"That figure I hope does not include the mental health beds," Mr Sorensen said.
"That should have been allocated to Hervey Bay in previous years, but the Labor government sent those funds to Bundaberg mental health."
In the lead up to last weekend's election, Mr Sorensen made an impassioned speech at a meet the candidates forum to bring more beds to the hospital.
When Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick was asked about funding for more beds at the hospital, he criticised Mr Sorensen.
"If he thinks more beds are needed at the hospital, why he didn't mention it during the state election campaign?" Mr Dick said.
"For Ted Sorensen to now suddenly find his voice after the election about the hospital needing more beds highlights just how completely lacking in credibility he is."
The WBHHS latest annual report shows the hospital has 138 overnight beds and 26 alternative beds which includes short-stay unit beds and chemotherapy chairs.
The hospital's emergency department is currently going through an upgrade which will increase the unit's bed number to 37.
"Most patients don't stay in A&E, they go into the main hospital, where they get treated," Mr Sorensen said.
"With an increased Accident & Emergency, things will get worse, without a plan, and without beds in the wards."