EARLIER this week patients across Queensland were at times made to wait hours to receive medical treatment as ambulances were queued outside hospitals in what continues to be a major issue with a shortage of skilled health workers.
Official figures showed an average of 38% of Queensland ambulances were ramped (data from August 2020 –January 2022) – the highest reported in Australia, according to a statement from Queensland Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli.
“Queensland’s ambulance crisis is the worst in the country with more than one in three ambulances routinely ramped outside hospitals” the statement read, citing figures detailing that “Queensland paramedics lost an extraordinary number of hours stuck on ramps last year”.
The data obtained by a parliamentary Question on Notice revealed that from August 2020 to January 2022 patients sometimes had to wait over seven hours for treatment at Nambour Hospital and at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
“Behind these numbers are Queenslanders who have called triple zero needing urgent help,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“Instead, they’re left waiting on a ramp, in a corridor or a hallway for hours.”
The opposition is calling on the State Government to start listening to frontline health workers before it gets worse.
It comes as the Australia Private Hospitals Associate (APHA) has put forward calls for major parties to make fixing the health workforce shortage a priority in the upcoming Federal election.
APHA CEO Michael Ross said the single biggest challenge facing health care in Australia is the shortage of health care professionals and one in which needs to be addressed.
“With no skilled migration for two years due to international travel restrictions and a workforce fatigued from the stress of managing COVID-19, the health care system is struggling to meet demand,” he said.