Work underway to implement ED patient wait time recommendations

Published Tuesday, 14 September, 2021 at 02:45 PM

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Work is already underway to implement the recommendations from a Queensland Audit Office (QAO) report, released today, into the measurement of emergency department patient wait times.

The QAO report makes a series of recommendations which the government supports.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said:

“Queensland Health is already working with Hospital and Health Services across the state to improve the accuracy and quality of emergency department data, and these efforts will continue to be progressed.

“This is all about improving patient flow in our increasingly busy EDs, where presentations are exceeding population growth.

“Since the QAO’s last report on EDs in 2014, walk-ins to our EDs have increased by 20.5%, with presentations by ambulance up 45.8%.
“Over the same period, Queensland’s population has increased by 9.5%.

“Demand pressure is also being exacerbated by rising acuity, with category 1 presentations increasing by 41%, and category 2 presentations rising by 50%.

“Increasing pressures on emergency departments aren’t unique to Queensland and are being seen in all jurisdictions, which is why all States and Territories have been raising this through National Cabinet.

“Hotel quarantine, COVID testing and contact tracing are also contributing to the pressures health systems across the country are facing.

“Our hardworking paramedics and ambulance workers respond to more than one million incidents a year across all categories, and I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of QAS.”

Minister D’Ath said the Palaszczuk Government is delivering an extra $263.7 million to assist with the increased demand in our emergency departments, on top of a record $22.2 health budget.

“As well as delivering improved patient flow and more transfer nurses, this $263.7 million funding injection is adding an additional 416 beds to our hospital capacity – and that’s one of the keys to improving ED wait times,” she said.

“Sadly, the Morrison Government is refusing to play its part in tackling the unprecedented demand our public hospitals are facing.

“There are currently 600 aged and disability care patients occupying beds in Queensland public hospitals who are better placed in alternative care settings – yet the Commonwealth has washed its hands of this responsibility.

“Queensland again calls on the Commonwealth to provide alternative care arrangements for these 600 patients, to free up much-needed hospital beds and ease pressure in our emergency departments.”

Media contact: Martin Philip 0407 675 008