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Metro South Health is experiencing an unprecedented emergency workload and record numbers of patients presenting to all of its emergency departments.
Metro South health Chief Executive, Dr Richard Ashby said the situation was one that was currently replicated in all metropolitan hospitals here in Queensland and right across Australia.
“All of our hospitals are currently experiencing very heavy seasonal demand on services and our emergency departments are seeing record numbers of patients,” he said.
“Our staff are working as hard as they can and we are urging the community to please be patient if they are waiting longer than usual, so our staff can treat the most serious cases first.
“We will always prioritise the sickest patients first. Sometimes that’s not the patients who arrive by ambulance, sometimes it’s the patients who walk in. This is what the community expects of us and it’s certainly the most appropriate treatment approach.”
Dr Ashby said the hospitals were also experiencing staff shortages in some areas as current seasonal illnesses also impact on clinical staff and their families.
“We are urging patients to decide if their condition is an emergency requiring hospital treatment or could otherwise be attended to by their GP or local pharmacist.
“No one wants to see patients delayed unnecessarily, however this surge in demand means patients who are not experiencing acute illness will face longer delays.
The current Winter demand means we have an influx of patients presenting with a range of seasonal illnesses, including respiratory illness, gastro illnesses, colds and flu. This creates extra pressure on top of trauma and other acute presentations.