New statistics show Queensland’s emergency departments performed well ahead of the national average on key benchmarks, despite seeing thousands more patients in 2017-18.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed demand on Queensland’s emergency departments continued to grow, but they still managed to treat the majority within four hours or less.
“In 2017-18, presentations to our emergency departments grew by 3.8 per cent compared to the previous year, equating to an extra 55,000 patients,” Minister Miles said.
“Despite this, our emergency departments continued to go above and beyond, delivering high quality patient care to Queenslanders who needed it.”
Minister Miles said Queensland’s emergency departments had significantly more patients arriving by ambulance, air ambulance or helicopter rescue service than any other state or territory, with 34 per cent of patients arriving this way.
“This, combined with more patients needing care for urgent and complex conditions, all places increased pressure on the ability of emergency departments to provide timely care. Yet despite this, Queensland patients are continuing to receive treatment sooner,” Minister Miles said.
“All urgent cases - that’s 100 per cent - were seen within clinically recommended timeframes.
“And 72.1 per cent of patients stayed in the ED for four hours or less, which puts us ahead of the national average.”
Minister Miles said the results were a testament to the hard work and dedication of Queensland’s health workforce.
“This achievement would not be possible without the incredible efforts of Queensland’s emergency department doctors and nurses, who work tirelessly across the state to make sure critically ill people are seen on time,” Minister Miles said.
“They do a tremendous job of taking care of Queenslanders when they are sick.”
In 2017-18, 90 per cent of patients presenting to Queensland emergency departments were seen within 96 minutes, compared with 99 minutes nationally.
Minister Miles said the Palaszczuk Government was continuing to invest in initiatives to cope with the increased demand for services across Queensland’s health system.
“We have invested significantly in redesigning the flow of patients through our EDs, in turn providing better and timely patient care,” Minister Miles said.
“Importantly, all Queenslanders can play a role in ensuring patients have access to emergency medical care when they need it, by thinking before heading to an ED for minor ailments that a GP could treat.”
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles