Emergency ward filled
Six-year high in hospital patients needing urgent medical help
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.”
DEMAND GROWS: Mackay Base Hospital saw a record number of people needing emergency treatment.