A new patient transport vehicle is designed to take the pressure off the Queensland Ambulance Service and save money.
A new patient transport vehicle is designed to take the pressure off the Queensland Ambulance Service and save money. Alistair Brightman

Patient transport vehicle expected to save $20,000 a year

BY TAKING the burden off the Queensland Ambulance Service and getting its own patient transport vehicle, the Hervey Bay Hospital emergency department is expected to save at least $20,000 a year.

The new vehicle, expected to arrive in about five weeks, will be used to transfer "less serious" emergency patients to Maryborough and is estimated to cost about $80,000 a year to operate - a decrease from about $100,000.

It's part of a new system aimed at improving patient flow through the emergency department and decreasing instances of ambulance ramping - where patients are treated in ambulances outside the hospital when beds are short.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service chief operating officer Phillipa Blakey said a clinical decision unit with five extra beds was under construction to improve patient flow.

"The clinical decision unit will provide additional capacity for our emergency department," she said.

"It will permit longer periods of observation for patients who require extended periods of observation but can be discharged within 24 hours."

In 2012, QAS made 857 transfers of patients who did not require a paramedic ambulance between Hervey Bay and Maryborough.

Until April this year, the QAS had made 296 transfers at a cost of $35,273.

The new vehicle will cost $29,500 a year to lease and $50,200 for a driver.



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