'Bligh govt risking patient lives'

HIDDEN emergency department reports reveal the Bligh government is risking patient lives, with some emergency patients waiting up to 11 hours for a hospital bed in Toowoomba, the State Opposition said today.

Documents released under Right to Information laws have revealed 'code red' is now the daily norm at Toowoomba Hospital - with just 65 percent of patients out of ambulances, into the emergency department, and on to a bed for treatment in the recommended time.

LNP Shadow Minister for Health Mark McArdle slammed the statistics as some of the worst he had ever seen in his three years as the Shadow Minister for Health, with critical patients in Toowoomba waiting up to 11 hours for a bed.

"I was aware from talking and listening to stressed frontline doctors and nurses that our emergency departments were in bad shape, but I was disturbed and shocked when I read these figures," Mr McArdle said.

"The Bligh Government is failing to deliver access to critical emergency treatment when sick and injured Queenslanders need it the most."

In September 2011 Queensland public hospital emergency departments spent 524 hours on bypass and 2,886 hours on extreme capacity alert, as ambulances continued to be ramped preventing paramedics from responding to medical emergencies.

"These important emergency department performance statistics were once available on the Queensland Health's website, but this secretive government has now hidden them from view. Now we know why," Mr McArdle said.

"This incompetent Minister is more concerned with political gimmicks and spinning the public with weasel words than admitting his government has failed to provide basic access to critical health care.

"Our public hospital emergency departments are at breaking point, and this tired, long-term Labor government has tried to bury their problems in the lead up to the election.

"Labor has left our health system in crisis and spent $220 million to fix their bungled payroll system.

"The Bligh government's solution to any political problem is simply to throw more money at it - and hope it goes away - or hide it.

"If we are going to increase access to critical emergency health services, we need to take a whole of hospital approach.

"A CanDo Government will cut waste and deliver access to frontline health services for all Queenslanders."

(Source: Emergency Department - Monthly Performance Report - September 2011, RTI Document No. 33)

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