Emergency departments at both Maryborough and Hervey Bay hospitals have remained busy, treating nearly 15,000 people.
Emergency departments at both Maryborough and Hervey Bay hospitals have remained busy, treating nearly 15,000 people.

Coast hospitals working well

IMPROVED access to specialist clinics such as renal, fracture and orthopaedic clinics has resulted in a record number of outpatients being seen at Fraser Coast hospitals.

With an ageing population and increasing rates of chronic disease putting pressure on local health services, the Fraser Coast Health Service’s doctors and nurses are working harder than ever.

According to the latest Queensland Health report card released today, Hervey Bay and Maryborough hospitals provided a total of 15,707 outpatient occasions of service during the December 2009 quarter – an increase of 18.3 per cent or 2431 more patients than during the same period in 2008.

Northern Cluster Manager Beth Norton said an increase in medical clinics including palliative and cancer clinics had bolstered services available to Fraser Coast residents.

“The quarterly public hospitals performance report shows paediatric clinics have also increased due to a number of visiting locums and the restructure of our antenatal and midwives clinics has resulted in more people being seen,” Ms Norton said.

The report also found both Fraser Coast hospitals continued to slice into elective surgery waiting lists, with an increase in the number of patients being admitted for operations.

Both emergency departments remained busy with staff providing care for 14,842 patients, which equates to 161 people a day.

Ms Norton said while the health service’s overall performance was pleasing, it was timely to remind the community that as the population aged and increased, there would be a rise in preventable demand on health services.

“As such, the community is encouraged to increase healthy lifestyle habits by stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.”

Ms Norton said a rise in the number of category two patients waiting for elective surgery at Hervey Bay Hospital was due to the high demand for orthopaedic services despite an increase in the number of operations.

A complete version of the report is available on the Queensland Health website.

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