Frustrated paramedics have set up a Facebook page to highlight just how often ambulances are forced to wait outside Queensland’s public hospitals.
But the Health Department says the accusations are unfair and exaggerated.
Ben Crock reports.
Union representatives say ramping, as it is known, is a daily occurrence in Brisbane with overcrowded public hospitals simply unable to accommodate patients.
Michael Freeman, United Voice State Councillor: “On Sunday night I was stuck in a hospital corridor for a number of hours with a patient and that patient was not seen by a doctor at the hospital; we were responsible for that patient’s care.”
Queensland’s shadow health minister says the government is not doing enough to solve the problem.
Mark McArdle, Shadow Health Minister: “At some point in time a patient in the back of an ambulance will die because they can’t get in to see someone in the E-D.”
Queensland Health declined an offer for an interview today but said in a statement that no patient waits in an ambulance unless they have been professionally assessed.
They also noted that emergency department staff had debunked several photos on the Facebook page.
United Voice Union officials argue the debunked photos which were of empty ambulances were a valid example of ramping.
Jeanette Temperley, United Voice Ambulance Co-ordinator: “A lot of hospitals will actually have them in the corridors with the officers so they wouldn’t be in the back.”
Queensland Health also said that no patient is ever turned away from a public hospital emergency department.
Ben Crock, QUT News.