Queensland delivers world-class care in face of rising demand

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

Queensland’s public hospitals continue to deliver world-class healthcare in the face of rising demand for health services.

Across the state, there were 622,609 emergency department presentations and 36,781 elective surgeries between January and March 2021 – an increase of 14 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively from the same period last year.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath applauded health staff for continuing to deliver excellent care despite the increase in patient numbers.

“All of our staff do a fantastic job, but the pressure across the system needs to be acknowledged,” Ms D’Ath said.

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

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

“We’re doing everything we can to alleviate the pressure on our hospitals, but the Commonwealth finding beds for the almost 600 aged care and disability care patients currently in our hospitals would be a welcome development.”

Ms D’Ath said our dedicated frontline health staff were working every day to provide free, world-class health care to their fellow Queenslanders despite the pandemic and increased demand.

“We continue to prioritise high-quality, safe, and effective healthcare in response to the rising demand on services,” Ms D’Ath said.

“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.

“Patient care and staff wellbeing are a delicate balance, but one we are determined to get right.”

All urgent (category 1) patients presenting to an emergency department and 93.1% of patients requiring urgent elective surgery were seen within recommended timeframes.

Category 1 presentations increased by one per cent, while Category 4 and 5 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 than 3,200 additional patients received their elective surgery last quarter (January-March 2021), compared to the same time period last year.

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