Rocky hospital responds to ramping spike

DESPITE claims from LNP and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington that ambulance ramping in Rockhampton has gone up 23 per cent since the last election (up to 34 per cent), Rockhampton Hospital executive director Bernadette Loughnane says 81 per cent of patients were seen on time in August.

According to Ms Frecklington, ramping has more than doubled under the Labor government, with almost one in three ambulance patients now forced to wait at least 30 minutes before they are transferred into an emergency department.

Ms Loughnane responded, saying after a busy flu season, which affected 3854 Central Queenslanders from October 6 up to the year to date, the hospital’s clinicians have “been working tirelessly to ensure patients are seen as quickly and efficiently as possible”.

“A total of 4545 patients came to the emergency department in August, and the average waiting time to treatment across all triage categories was 11 minutes,” Ms Loughnane said.

“Patients are triaged according to their level of clinical need to ensure the sickest and most seriously injured patients get the urgent lifesaving treatment they need first.

“All category 1 (sickest) patients are treated on time.

“Emergency presentations are not planned, and there are occasionally busy periods.

“When patients are waiting for treatment, senior doctors and nurses work closely with ambulance staff to ensure patient strategy is not compromised.”