26 September 2023

Health system found to be under pressure

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The latest report on the State’s public hospitals shows there were 622,609 emergency department presentations and 36,781 elective surgeries conducted between January and March.

This was an increase of 14 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively on the same period last year.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath said staff had done a fantastic job, but the pressure across the system needed to be acknowledged.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a contributor, but we are continuing to see increases in patient numbers unrelated to COVID as well,” Ms D’Ath said.

“Issues around bed capacity and our aging population need to be offset by innovative and robust models of care, including the Hospital in the Home and the Satellite Hospitals programs, and further Commonwealth support for aged care and disability care.”

She said the State Government was doing everything it could to alleviate the pressure on hospitals, but Commonwealth funding of beds for the almost 600 aged care and disability care patients currently in hospitals would be a welcome development.

“Queensland’s healthcare system ranks among the world’s best, and it’s very clear that our emergency nurses, doctors, paramedics, orderlies and administration staff are the reason for this,” Ms D’Ath said.

“All urgent (Category One) patients presenting to an emergency department, and 93.1 per cent of patients requiring urgent elective surgery, were seen within recommended timeframes.”

Category One presentations increased by one per cent, while Categories Four and Five were also up by 14 and 34 per cent respectively.

Despite these increases, the majority of all presentations (74 per cent) were seen within clinically recommended times.

Of all emergency department presentations, 27 per cent were admitted to hospital — approximately 56,000 people each month.

More information on Queensland Health’s Hospital Performance can be accessed at this PS News link.

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