Queensland health officials warn we are facing one of the worst flu seasons ever and have boosted hospital services to cope. This year there are four different strains of influenza, so the government is increasing hospital services and nursing staff.

Kayla Plunkett reports.


Winter is coming and the state government is bracing for the flu season.

It’s increased funding and boosted hospital services to deal with what’s expected to be a particularly bad year.

Cameron Dick, Health Minister: “Firstly, we have more patients that come into our public hospitals, and secondly, we’re impacted by the number of staff members who fall ill due to flu.”

The government’s plan includes an injection of 15 million dollars to health and hospital services, 139 extra beds, 12 new nurses to supervise ambulance arrivals and more paramedics.

Sean Birgan, Metro South Acting Executive Director of Nursing: “It is only early days and we’re positive this is one small step in the way that we can manage some of the demand that’s coming in.”

Trish Murray, Advanced Care Paramedic: “It sees us being able to handover our patients quickly, effectively, getting our resources back out on the road, meeting those community demands, which is a high resource, we need to have them ready and available.”

The number of Queenslanders contracting the flu has risen significantly, with over 3000 cases already this year. The Minister is advising Queenslanders to get the jab now to avoid overwhelming our hospital system.”

Health authorities advise the elderly, pregnant women and those suffering from chronic diseases are most at risk this season.

Kayla Plunkett, QUT News.