Emer­gency ward filled

Six-year high in hospi­tal pa­tients need­ing ur­gent med­i­cal help

Daily Mercury - - NEWS - ZIZI AVER­ILL Zizi.Aver­[email protected]­ly­mer­cury.com.au

PRES­SURE is build­ing on Mackay Base Hospi­tal af­ter a record num­ber of pa­tients was ad­mit­ted to the emer­gency ward last year.

More than 3000 ad­di­tional pa­tients were ad­mit­ted to the emer­gency ward in 2017–2018, than the pre­vi­ous year. This is a six- year record for the num­ber of pa­tients, with 48,665 peo­ple re­quir­ing emer­gency treat­ment.

Mackay Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vices Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Jo White­head said “not only have we seen an over­all growth in de­mand, our emer­gency de­part­ments have seen an in­crease in the most com­plex and ur­gent pre­sen­ta­tions, those re­quir­ing re­sus­ci­ta­tion or crit­i­cal care”.

There was al­most a 30 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of pa­tients need­ing re­sus­ci­ta­tion by emer­gency hospi­tal staff.

The num­ber of emer­gency pa­tients need­ing treat­ment within 10 min­utes in­creased by 19 per cent.

Ms White­head said this was due to more pa­tients with com­plex con­di­tions, an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and many trauma cases be­ing ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal.

This year 13,927 Mackay Base Hospi­tal pa­tients were not seen within the rec­om­mended wait times. How­ever, this is an im­prove­ment from last year in which nearly 14,500 pa­tients were left wait­ing.

With the clo­sure of the Mater Pri­vate Af­ter Hours Ser­vice Ms White­head said there could be an im­pact on emer­gency wards at the hospi­tal.

She said, “any change to ser­vices pro­vided by the pri­vate sec­tor in­creases pres­sure on the pub­lic health sys­tem.”

Photo: Emma Mur­ray

DE­MAND GROWS: Mackay Base Hospi­tal saw a record num­ber of peo­ple need­ing emer­gency treat­ment.

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