After one of the worst flu seasons in years, Queensland Health is bringing together key experts for a summit to explore how the State’s health system can better respond next year.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said this year’s flu season was one for the record books.
“Queensland has been faced with one of the worst flu seasons in recent history,” he said.
“We’ve seen more than 50,000 cases of the flu across the state this year, which is nearly double the number in previous years.
“Our hospitals saw a higher rate of admissions than usual, with 5451 public hospital admissions across the state for influenza, 638 of whom required intensive care.
“The impact of this year’s particularly challenging flu season on our health system cannot be ignored, so accordingly I have asked Queensland Health to convene a flu summit in Brisbane next week.”
Mr Dick said the aim of the summit was to discuss the spike in flu cases this year and how Queensland could be best placed to prepare for next year.
“The summit will bring together the knowledge and expertise from within our State’s health system as well as leading national and international perspectives in the field such as Monash University and the World Health Organisation,” he said.
“The summit will discuss lessons from this year’s season and case studies that use different strategies for reducing the burden of influenza on the community.”
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young is looking forward to the summit and said there would be a wealth of knowledge shared.
“Being able to work with national and international leaders in the field to come up with practical solutions to a worldwide issue is exciting,” she said.
“We know influenza has hit Queensland harder than anyone anticipated this year and we need to ensure we’re prepared for next year’s season.”
The flu summit will be held in Brisbane next Wednesday, 18 October.
Mr Dick said the outcomes of the summit would benefit the community.
“I am confident we’ll identify a number of worthwhile initiatives from this summit that we can implement ahead of the next season,” he said.
“The summit will help us prepare for next year’s flu season and help achieve our vision, which is to make Queenslanders among the healthiest people in the world by 2026.”
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick