The latest data show a 27 per cent increase in ramping at Rockhampton Hospital since February 2020.
The latest data show a 27 per cent increase in ramping at Rockhampton Hospital since February 2020.

Rocky Hospital ramping increase prompts MP visit

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates will fly into the Beef Capital to look at the problem of ramping at Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Her trip was prompted by data showing the city was among the worst for ambulance ramping in Queensland: Rockhampton’s ramping increased 27 per cent in the year to February 2021 such that nearly half of all patients were not transferred off-stretcher within 30 minutes.

Statewide, there has been an average ramping increase of 11 per cent within the same period.

“The State Government is losing control of the health system,” Ms Bates claimed.

“The Opposition has been inundated with health horror stories from honest Queenslanders since we raised the issue in state parliament.

“As a registered nurse and former hospital administrator, I know how challenging it can be for our doctors and nurses working under immense pressure.

“Central Queensland was also snubbed from $100 million of Labor’s hospital funding last week.”

Ms Bates suggested three reforms to improve hospital performance: first, that real-time data on available beds be accessible to patients and health professionals; second, that emergency departments be better resourced to determine the priority of patients’ treatments; and third, that the government invest more in beds “instead of fudging the figures by counting chairs in the hospital bed tally”.

“The real time data website has already been introduced in New South Wales and South Australia,” she said.

“It allows patients to see how many people are currently in the waiting room and how many beds are taken up.

“The technology already exists inside our hospitals and it’s up to the state government to make it go public.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said that public hospitals throughout Queensland were experiencing unprecedented demand, and that the government was in fact providing increased funding for Central Queensland.

“This year the State Government has provided an additional $4.4 million to Central Queensland HHS to specifically support an expanded bed capacity and extended services to meet growing Emergency Department demand,” she said.
“This $4.4 million in extra funding is separate from the $100 million in new statewide hospital funding that was announced last week.

“The Palaszczuk Government is investing a record $661 million for Central Queensland HHS in 2020/21 – $38.5 million more than the previous year and up from $465 million under the LNP’s final State Budget in 2014-15.

“We’re investing $24.2 million for an upgrade at the Rockhampton Hospital site, including an expansion of the mental health ward.

“Ros Bates was a member of the Newman Government when the LNP cut 197 health staff from hospitals in Central Queensland, so she shouldn’t be lecturing anyone about health.”

Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Shadow Assistant Minister Rob Molhoek will join Ms Bates on her trip to Rockhampton, Mount Morgan, and Yeppoon.

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Originally published as Rocky Hospital ramping increase prompts MP visit