The Queensland Government has denied that ambulance patients are being turned away from busy hospitals, but admits emergency service workers are “just about exhausted and exhausted”.
The National Liberal Party said on Wednesday that a whistleblower had revealed ambulance bypasses or hijackings, which last occurred under the former Bligh government a decade ago, were happening.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath denies this is possible because ambulances are run from a central hub so individual emergency services do not have the power to refuse patients.
“So it’s not just any hospital that needs to take the ‘We don’t accept you’ call and get around them. It hasn’t worked for a decade,” she told reporters. Wednesday.
“It’s a coordinated center that we make sure we send them to the right hospital in the first place, so they don’t have to be diverted.”
There are 520 long-stay patients in public hospitals who do not need medical care, but need either NDIS or elderly care packages to be able to return home.
Another 462 patients have COVID-19 in public facilities and 49 in private facilities, she said, while 1,643 health workers are off work and self-isolating.
The minister said hospitals are increasingly treating patients who really need a GP or primary and related health care provider.
“Demand pressures have made Queensland’s public health system the provider of last resort,” Ms D’Ath added.
“When you can’t afford private health insurance, when you can’t access private specialists, when you can’t access GPs, when you can’t get an NDIS package, when you can’t get the support you need in elder care, you turn to the public health system.”
She called on the next federal government to match state funding for health care.
LNP leader David Crisafulli admitted more federal funding was needed, but said the state government could take action now.
He said it would be helpful to improve triage, publish transparent data in real time, and give doctors and nurses more autonomy in decision-making.
“The (state) budget says less money is going to health and hospital networks,” Mr Crisafulli told reporters.
“So clearly the government has a trust issue when it comes to trusting people on the front line and I will trust the doctor, nurse or paramedic any day of the week. “
Queensland Health acting chief operating officer David Rosengren said while emergency services coped, the situation was wearing down healthcare workers.
“It’s very tiring to be a clinician working in emergency departments,” he said.
“All return home at the end of an evening shift pretty much exhausted and exhausted from the commitment to make sure we continue to manage the demand that arises.
“There is no doubt that our clinicians in our emergency departments are tired, everyone in the healthcare system is tired.”
The Queensland Government has promised to release emergency wait time and ambulance surge data for the March quarter of 2022 this month.
Australian Associated Press