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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Ambulance and health staff heroes in aged care rescue operation

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Friday, July 12, 2019

    Ambulance and health staff heroes in aged care rescue operation

    Queensland’s Health Minister has praised the Ambulance Service and Gold Coast Health staff as heroes after they rescued more than 70 aged care residents overnight.

    The private provider closed suddenly yesterday which prompted a staff member to call Triple 0.

    Mr Miles said the rescue operation was completed just after 1am this morning.

    “Our health teams have transferred around 70 residents to other accommodation, including 3 to hospitals who are in a stable condition.

    “This was effectively an emergency response, the kind you would see in a flood or a cyclone. The paramedics and health staff worked swiftly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of these residents,” Mr Miles said.

    “But the fact this happened, over what appears to be a contract dispute, is disgraceful. Families trust these private aged care providers to care for their loved ones and to see them put profits ahead of that care is disgusting.”

    Mr Miles said the Commonwealth was responsible for regulating the aged care sector.

    “The Federal Government must launch a full investigation into how this could have possibly happened and I have written to the Federal Aged Care Minister.”

    Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said she spent most of the evening on site helping residents and families and that the paramedics and health care workers did an incredible job.

    “Gold Coasters should be proud of how their public health system responded yesterday.

    “It’s incredible that of all the patients who were rescued, only 3 required hospitalisation.

    “Within a couple of hours, the health teams coordinated alternative emergency aged care accommodation on the Gold Coast for all patients.

    “By 10pm, next of kin for all but two patients had been contacted to assure them their loved ones were being well cared for and by the early hours of the morning, all patients had been transported to alternative aged care facilities on the Gold Coast,” Ms Scanlon said.

    While the Commonwealth finds a long-term solution, staff are in touch with families to advise them where their loved ones will be residing in the short term.

    QAS allocated 32 paramedics to the operation, while GCHHS deployed around 12 staff to site.

    Any concerned next of kin can contact 1300 004 242 or 13 Health.

    ENDS

    Media contact:  Katharine Wright – 0428 957 903