State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today stated that the new Emergency Department at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital faces real problems with ambulance ramping and people waiting on trolleys.
“The Health Minister, Cameron Dick vowed the new hospital would not open until it was ready. He is at the top of the food chain and must take responsibility for the failures of his department.” Mr McArdle said.
Ramping happens when ambulances wait outside an Emergency Department for more than 30 minutes. Mr McArdle explained that this results in both paramedics not getting to the next job quickly enough and patients waiting on trolleys before getting treatment.
“In fact on 17 April at SCUH, because of the number of vehicles ramped, 652mins (almost 11 hours) was lost as paramedics sat and waited for patients to be taken into the Emergency Department.” Mr McArdle said.
“On the same day 236min (almost 4 hours) was similarly lost at Nambour Hospital for the same reason. In one day, collectively, for almost 15 hours ambulances and paramedics sat ideal.” Mr McArdle said.
“It got so bad that ambulances were being sent to Noosa and Maleny Hospitals in what is called ‘Load Sharing’ to alleviate the threat caused by the ramping.”
“April 17th is not the only date that ramping has occurred. Eleven QAS vehicles including ambulances were ramped outside SCUH Emergency Department on 28 April. So this has happened on more than one occasion and I am concerned more than twice.” Mr McArdle said.
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“The Labor Government said this hospital would not become operational until it could deal with the demand. In little over a month the Labor Government and Cameron Dick have shown Labor’s usual incompetence with Health. You can’t blame seasonal factors. Planning for a ‘$1.8 billion hospital should have taken that into account, particularly when the opening date has been planned for months.” Mr McArdle said.
“Cameron Dick needs to accept that it is his responsibility that this situation arose -he has the title, he has the obligations.” Mr McArdle said
“The hard working paramedics, doctors, nurses and other health professionals are being let down by a Do-nothing Government which is continuing its old habits of letting our health system fall into disrepair.” Mr McArdle concluded.