Emergency departments at Logan, Beaudesert and Redlands hospitals under pressure from unprecedented demand

EMERGENCY: Metro South Health emergency departments saw a four per cent increase in patients in February 2019 compared to February 2018.
EMERGENCY: Metro South Health emergency departments saw a four per cent increase in patients in February 2019 compared to February 2018.

METRO South Health emergency departments have experienced one of their busiest Februaries on record with unprecedented demand continuing, especially from patients requiring the most urgent care.

In February 2019, Metro South Health emergency departments at Princess Alexandra, QEII Jubilee, Logan, Redland and Beaudesert hospitals treated 10 per cent more patients requiring immediate life-saving care compared to February 2018.

The number of patients treated also rose across all care categories, with 837 more patients being treated across Metro South Health emergency departments in February 2019 than in February 2018.

Metro South Health chief executive Stephen Ayre said more people than ever before were visiting Metro South Health emergency departments.

"In particular, we are seeing a sharp rise in the most urgent and complex presentations," Dr Ayre said.

"Critically ill or injured patients require more care and take longer to recover, which can put pressure on the whole hospital system.

"In February 2019, this was combined with increases in presentations across all other emergency department care categories, including less urgent conditions."

The figures came after Australasian College for Emergency Medicine president Simon Judkins called wait times at Redland Hospital's emergency department intolerable.

Dr Ayre said 100 per cent of critically ill or injured patients were treated in the clinically recommended times.

Thirty-five per cent more patients with non-emergency health concerns presented to Metro South Health emergency departments in February 2019 than in February 2018.

Dr Ayre said it was important to promote alternatives to hospital emergency departments for patients with less urgent conditions.

"Fewer people visiting our emergency departments with less urgent conditions allows us to provide more beds and greater care for patients with the most serious conditions," he said.

He said residents could use the 13 HEALTH hotline or make an appointment with their GP for non-urgent health issues.

"However, if you do think it's an emergency, always dial Triple Zero," he said.

This story Unprecedented demand puts pressure on emergency departments first appeared on Redland City Bulletin.