Ambulances “ramping” at the Rockhampton hospital.
Ambulances “ramping” at the Rockhampton hospital.

Ambulance ramping not isolated to Gladstone Hospital

Delays to 14 per cent of patients being treated in Gladstone Hospital due to ambulances being “ramped” while waiting for available staff are occurring at many hospitals across the state.

Data released this week by Queensland Health illustrates the extent of the problem, with one reader requesting The Observer to do some investigative journalism showing a comparison of ramping following the story Gladstone Hospital not seeing 25.7 per cent of patients in time being published.

In comparison to Gladstone Hospital’s 14 per cent of patients experiencing ramping and 25.7 per cent not being seen within recommended time frames, neighbouring Rockhampton Hospital fares worse, with 47 per cent of patients ramped, up 11 per cent in the past 12 months.

Also, 29.5 per cent of patients attending the Rockhampton Hospital Emergency Department were not seen in the recommended time frame.

Across the state, a number of hospitals recorded worse ramping and attendance to patients statistics, including Bundaberg, Cairns, Caboolture and the Gold Coast.

Gladstone Hospital has seen an increase in ramping to 14 per cent and the number of patients not being seen in the recommended time frame to 25.7 per cent, compared to the same period in 2019. Picture Rodney Stevens
Gladstone Hospital has seen an increase in ramping to 14 per cent and the number of patients not being seen in the recommended time frame to 25.7 per cent, compared to the same period in 2019. Picture Rodney Stevens

Following recent media coverage, Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath has called a meeting for Thursday to discuss the issues.

When the Queensland Ambulance Service was approached for comment on the issues, they referred The Observer to the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

The CQHHS has been contacted for comment.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said the LNP had received more than 1200 emails in the last three days from patients, paramedics and nurses sharing their hospital horror stories.

“Staff shortages, wait times, ramping and overcrowding were just some of the issues raised by Queenslanders,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“Queenslanders don’t want excuses, they want world-class healthcare.

“Nearly half of all patients taken to Rockhampton Hospital are waiting in an ambulance longer than the clinically recommended time of 30 minutes, before receiving treatment.

“The Health Minister must reveal the outcome of tomorrow’s emergency meeting.

“Central Queensland residents don’t want this review being done in the dark.”

Hospital Performance data December 2020 quarter (source QLD Health)

Per cent of patients ramped Per cent of patients not seen

(increase from Dec 2019) in recommended time frame

Gladstone 14 (9%) 25.7

Rockhampton 47 (11%) 29.5

Bundaberg 22 (10%) 10.4

Caboolture 34 (5%) 27.4

Cairns 25 (1%) 24

Dalby 23.2

Gold Coast 49 (14%) 30.3

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