Waiting times at Bay's emergency department under fire

FOR the second time in as many months, State Opposition leader Deb Frecklington has criticised waiting times in the state's emergency departments, including at Hervey Bay Hospital.

According to new statistics released by Queensland Health, 36 per cent of emergency department patients at the Fraser Coast's main hospital were not seen within clinically recommended times - up two per cent from last month.

There was also an increase in ambulance ramping from 15 per cent to 16 per cent at Hervey Bay Hospital.

Ms Frecklington said the figures exposed the growing crisis in emergency departments across the state.

"Queenslanders deserve a world-class health system and Labor just isn't delivering," Ms Frecklington said.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk promised to improve frontline services, but Labor can't even get the basics right."

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said Queensland Health staff needed more support.

"Our hard-working nurses, paramedics and doctors need more help on the frontline to improve wait times and provide better patient outcomes for Queenslanders," Ms Bates said.

"It's time for Labor to stop playing political blame games and get on with the job."

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Adrian Pennington said the need for additional emergency department capacity had been recognised, which was why the case was argued for a new department that is now being built.

The number of beds in the emergency department at Hervey Bay Hospital will almost double as a result of the upgrade.

"We are also currently working on plans for the upgrade of Maryborough Hospital's emergency department which will provide better facilities for patients and help meet future patient demand," he said.

"The majority of patients who were not seen within clinically recommended times were those who presented with less urgent cases - many of which could typically be treated by a general practitioner.

"We always encourage people to consider whether seeing a GP or after-hours service is more appropriate than attending the emergency department, but we attend to everyone as long as they're prepared to be patient if their case is less urgent."

Hervey Bay Hospital

  •  The number of category 1 patients in Hervey Bay Hospital in February was 18, with 94% seen within the clinically recommended time, within two minutes of arriving. It was 38 per cent busier than the same period last year.
  • There where 349 category 2 patients last month, with 79 per cent seen within the recommended time frame of 10 minutes.
  •  In February 1107 category 3 patients presented to the hospital. Of those, 64 per cent were seen within the clinically recommended time of 30 minutes.
  • The number of category four patients at Hervey Bay Hospital last month was 1213. Of those, 58 per cent were seen within the recommended time frame of one hour.


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