By Alex Fynes-Clinton, Imogen Knowles
The Queensland Ambulance Union is outraged over the use of taxis being used as makeshift ambulances.
The outrage was sparked by a photo of a person being loaded into the back of a maxi taxi taken by an ambulance officer last Friday at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Queensland Ambulance Union spokesperson John Webb said it is unacceptable.
“In a QAS vehicle, should anything go adverse, they have a first class, world class service and the staff there to provide that back to them,” said Mr Webb.
“That can’t be provided in the back of a taxi cab.”
The Opposition’s health spokesperson Mark McArdle said the issue has as much to do with the lack of Queensland hospital beds as it does with the shortage of ambulances.
“What happens is that paramedics have to stay with their patients at hospitals for hours on end,” said Mr McArdle.
“That means that they can’t get back out on the road to transport other sick and injured people from place to place.”
“This could be a direct consequence of ramping and access block in a hospital system,” he said.
Mr McArdle said it is another example of the Labor Government’s mishandling of the state’s health system.
“We have spent $42-billion on Queensland health in the past seven years and our best outcome is to transport sick and injured patients by taxis- that is a third world outcome,” said Mr McArdle.
Queensland Health said there are no plans to outsource or increase the use of community and private transport vehicles for medical situations.